A comparative study of alginate beads and an ion-exchange resin for the removal of heavy metals from a metal plating effluent.

Research paper by Rui M P RM Silva, Joao P H JP Manso, Joaquim R C JR Rodrigues, Ricardo J L RJ Lagoa

Indexed on: 22 Jul '08Published on: 22 Jul '08Published in: Journal of environmental science and health. Part A, Toxic/hazardous substances & environmental engineering


The capacity of dry protonated calcium alginate beads to sorb metals from an industrial effluent was studied and compared with a commercial ion-exchange resin (Lewatit TP 207). Both sorbents decreased zinc, nickel, iron and calcium concentrations in the effluent, and released sodium during treatment. Alginate beads removed lower amounts of heavy metals than the resin, but exhibited faster uptake kinetics. Zinc desorption from the sorbents was achieved in 30 minutes using 0.1 M HCl or 0.1 M H(2)SO(4). Desorption ratios with these acids varied between 90 and 100% for alginate, and 98 to 100% for the ion-exchange resin. Reusability tests with HCl showed that alginate beads can stand acid desorption and recover binding capacity. Overall, the comparison of dry protonated alginate beads with the resin supports the potential of the biosorbent for the treatment of industrial effluents.