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Citric Acid Functionalized Bougainvillea spectabilis: a Novel, Sustainable, and Cost-effective Biosorbent for Removal of Heavy Metal (Pb2+) from Waste Water


With increasing concern related to sustainable chemistry, we investigated the biosorption of Pb2+ ions from aqueous medium using an environmental friendly and economic biosorbent Bougainvillea spectabilis (BS). The BS was modified effectively using citric acid by hydrothermal method. The biosorbent(s) was characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), energy dispersion X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and point of zero charge (pHpzc). Various process parameters including biosorbent dosage, time of contact, temperature, solution pH, and initial Pb2+ ions concentration were studied in batch mode. Kinetic modeling was performed to evaluate the kinetic data and results showed that the studied process followed the pseudo second order (PSO) kinetics. Equilibrium modeling was done using famous equilibrium models, i.e., Langmuir, Freundlich, Dubinin-Kaganer-Radushkevish, and Temkin in non-linear fashion to evaluate equilibrium data by varying initial Pb2+ ions concentration from 20 to 180 mg/L. Based on RMSE values, Langmuir model fits best. This paper also discusses thermodynamic parameters (i.e., enthalpy, entropy, and free energy) showing that the process was spontaneous and endothermic in nature. In comparison with BS (B. spectabilis), an appreciable increase in uptake capacity of CABS (citric acid modified B. spectabilis) was observed in sequestration of Pb2+ ions from aqueous medium showing advantage of citric acid modification making it industrially favorable and socially acceptable biosorbent for efficient removal of lead from water.

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Correspondence to Huma Nazir.

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Nazir, H., Salman, M., Athar, M. et al. Citric Acid Functionalized Bougainvillea spectabilis: a Novel, Sustainable, and Cost-effective Biosorbent for Removal of Heavy Metal (Pb2+) from Waste Water. Water Air Soil Pollut 230, 303 (2019).

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  • Bougainvillea spectabilis
  • Lead
  • Non-linear equilibrium
  • Thermodynamics
  • Biosorption kinetics
  • Citric acid functionalized biosorbent