Wastewater produced from the soil washing process contains heavy metals, which limits its reuse for washing. So it is necessary to develop an efficient and economical way to recycle it, and this study presents a biosorption method to realize this goal. A typical soil sample contaminated by lead was taken from the real field near a lead smelting factory, used for the toxic metals extraction with dilute citric acid. A leach liquor was obtained with lead ions at the level of 12.35 mg/L, Cd 1.2 mg/L, Cu 1.5 mg/L, Zn 2.6 mg/L, as well as the coexisting anions such as sulphate, silicate, chloride at the concentration of sveral hundred miligram per liter. The garlic peel was modified by a simple chemical saponification process and used as the biosorbent for toxic metal removal. Firstly, the adsorption behavior of lead ions on the saponified garlic peel was systematically investigated using the synthetic solutions, and then the adsorption mechanisms were explored by detailed experiments combining with the thermodynamic calculation reuslts of the aqueous system of Pb(II)-citrate-H2O. It was found that in artificial solution containing 0.01 mol/L citrate, the maximum adsorption capacity of 261.0 mg/g was reached at pH near 3.0, and also at this very pH value the Pb2+ and Pb(H2Cit)+ were the dominant lead species which are favorable for adsorption due to its easier approaching to the —COO–ligands in the saponified garlic peel partilces via charge attraction, and the appearance of Pb(HCit)0 and Pb(Cit)– at pH above 3.0 inhibits the adsorption. Secondly, the real leach liquor was used for adsorption tests, and twice adsorption under the optimal conditons would decrease the residual concentrations of Pb, Cd, Cu and Zn to zero. After elution by using 0.1 mol/L nitric acid, the adsorbed metals can be recovered and garlic peel be reused for at least 10 cycles effectively. This study presents a prospective biosorption method for economical and efficient removal of the lead ions from soil washing wastewater with citric acid as the leaching reagent.
Lead Biosorption Garlic peel Citrate Soil washing wastewater
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