Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 3157–3173 | Cite as

Effect of pH on hexavalent and total chromium removal from aqueous solutions by avocado shell using batch and continuous systems

  • Erick Aranda-García
  • Eliseo Cristiani-UrbinaEmail author
Contaminated sites, waste management and green chemistry: New challenges from monitoring to remediation


Solution pH appears to be the most important regulator of the biosorptive removal of chromium ions from aqueous solutions. This work presents a kinetic study of the effects of solution pH on Cr(VI) and total chromium removal from aqueous solution by Hass avocado shell (HAS) in batch and continuous packed bed column systems. Different Cr(VI) and total chromium removal performances of HAS were obtained in pH-shift batch, pH-controlled batch, and continuous systems. These results emphasize the great importance of determining the most appropriate pH for Cr(VI) and total chromium removal, considering the operational mode of the proposed large-scale treatment system. Total chromium biosorption batch kinetics was well described by the Elovich model, whereas in the continuous system, the fitness of the kinetic models to the experimental data was pH dependent. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and kinetic studies clearly indicated that the reaction mechanism of Cr(VI) with HAS was the reductive biotransformation of Cr(VI) to Cr(III), which was partially released to the aqueous solution and partially biosorbed onto HAS.


Avocado shell Biosorption Hexavalent chromium pH Total chromium Wastewater treatment 



The CONACyT awarded a graduate scholarship to one of the authors (E.A.-G.). E.C.-U. holds grants from COFAA-IPN, EDI-IPN, and SNI-CONACyT.

Funding information

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support provided by the scientific team of the Centro de Nanociencias y Micro y Nanotecnologías, IPN, as well as the financial support provided by the Secretaría de Investigación y Posgrado, IPN.

Supplementary material

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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biológicas, Departamento de Ingeniería BioquímicaInstituto Politécnico NacionalMexico CityMexico

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