Cu(II) removal using green adsorbents: kinetic modeling and plant scale-up design

  • Munmun Banerjee
  • Ranjan Kumar Basu
  • Sudip Kumar Das
Low cost organic and inorganic sorbents to fight soil and water pollution


Cu(II) adsorption in continuous column using green adsorbents like peanut and almond shell was investigated. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Brunaer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Point of Zero charge (pHpzc) determination have been used for characterization of the adsorbents. Experiments were conducted at various operating conditions to calculate the adsorption capacity of the adsorbents. Adsorption studies signify that both the adsorbents have good adsorptive capacity for Cu(II) ion. Equilibrium of adsorption was described using Langmuir isotherm and the highest qmax value for both the adsorbent were obtained at an operating condition of 20 ml/min flow rate, 15 mg/L influent Cu(II) concentration, and 7 cm bed depth. Regeneration of both the adsorbents suggests that these adsorbents can be used several times for Cu(II) removal. Seven different kinetic models were tested among which the modified dose response model was fitted well for peanut shell and the Thomas model was fitted well for almond shell. These fitted models were further used for scale-up design. Regeneration studies show that peanut shell and almond shell are useful up to the fifth adsorption cycle. Application of these adsorbents with industrial effluent was also reported. This study reveals that peanut and almond shells can be used for Cu(II) removal for industrial wastewater.


Adsorption Almond shell Peanut shell Influent flow rate Influent concentration Kinetic modeling 



parameter of modified dose response model


influent concentration of Cu(II) (mg/L)


discharge limit of Cu(II) for inland surface water (mg/L)


Cu(II) concentration in effluent at time t (mg/L)


equilibrium concentration of metal ion (mg/L)


Cu(II) concentration in waste water (mg/L)


diameter of the adsorption column (m)


density of the adsorbent (kg/m3)


total bed height in the column (m)


additional height for accessories (m)


rate constant (L/(mg.min))


kinetic constant of Langmuir isotherm (L/mg)


kinetic rate constant of Yan et al. model (ml/(mg.min))


kinetic rate constant of Bohart-Adams model (L/(mg.min))


kinetic rate constant of Thomas model (ml/(mg.min))


kinetic rate constant of Yoon-Nelson model (min-1)


designed adsorbent mass (kg/day)


mass of the adsorbent (g)


amount of Cu(II) ion sent to the column in total (mg)


saturation concentration (mg/L)


number of experimental points run


volumetric flow rate (ml/min)


Designed volumetric flow rate (ml/min)


Thomas model adsorption capacity (mg/g)


experimental adsorption capacity (mg/g)


adsorption capacity calculated using theoretical kinetic models (mg/g)


adsorptive capacity of the adsorbent as per best fitted model (mg/g)


Yan et al. model maximum adsorption capacity (mg/g)


equilibrium Cu(II) uptake (mg/g)


adsorption capacity (maximum) (mg/g)


Modified dose response model adsorption capacity (mg/g)


total Cu(II) adsorbed (mg)


amount of Cu(II) adsorbed after regeneration (mg)


correlation coefficient, dimensionless


working time (hr)


time (min)


bed regeneration time (min)


bed saturation time after regeneration (min)


breakthrough time (min)


exhaustion time (min)


flow time in total (min)


superficial velocity (cm/min)


volume of effluent (L)


wastewater rate (L/day)


bed depth (cm)


standard error, \( SE=\sqrt{\sum \frac{{\left({q}_{0\left(\mathit{\exp}\right)}-{q}_{0(cal)}\right)}^2}{N}} \)

Greek letters


external mass transfer kinetic coefficient of Wolborska model (min-1)


breakthrough time at 50% (min)


regeneration efficiency



The authors are gratefully acknowledging the Department of Science & Technology, West Bengal (Sanction No.: 21(Sanc)/ST/P/S&T/13G-1/2013 dt. 06.06.2014) for providing the research fund.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Munmun Banerjee
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ranjan Kumar Basu
    • 1
  • Sudip Kumar Das
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Polymer Science and Technology DepartmentUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia

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