Optimization and design of a continuous biosorption process using brown algae and chitosan/PVA nano-fiber membrane for removal of nickel by a new biosorbent

  • A. Esmaeili
  • A. Aghababai Beni
Original Paper


In this study, nickel ions adsorption from zinc ingot factory wastewater by brown algae (Sargassum glaucescens) and chitosan/polyvinyl alcohol nano-fiber membrane at continuous system was studied. The continuous process included a biosorption reactor and fixed-bed reactor that were optimized by predicting two batch steps with response surface modeling, based on the Box–Behnken in the novel approach. Nano-biosorbent characterized by scanning electron microscopy, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller and Fourier transform infrared spectrometer analysis. Maximum biosorption in this continuous system was at pH 6, biosorbent doses 8 g L−1 S. glaucescens and 0.48 g L−1 nano-fiber. The study of the reaction rate showed kinetic data best fitted by pseudo-first-order model with R 2 > 0.95 than pseudo-second-order and intraparticle diffusion models. Biosorption equilibrium data were performed using Langmuir isotherm and Freundlich isotherm, Langmuir isotherm fit better with equilibrium data.


Chitosan/PVA Brown algae Fixed-bed reactor Biosorption reactor Nickel Continuous process 



The authors wish to Thank all who assisted in performing this work.



Response surface modeling




Analysis of variance


Regression correlation coefficient


Initial concentration of heavy metal (mg L−1)


Concentration of heavy metal (mg L−1)


Volume of the solution (L)


Weight of the biosorbent (g)


Removal efficiency


pH of solution at biosorption reactor


Biosorbent dose at biosorption reactor (g L−1)


Contact time at biosorption reactor (min)


pH of solution at fixed-bed reactor


Biosorbent dose at fixed-bed reactor (g L−1)


Contact time at fixed-bed reactor (min)


Initial concentration of Ni at fixed-bed reactor (mg L−1)


Adsorption capacity (mg g−1)


Adsorption capacity at equilibrium (mg g−1)


Adsorption capacity at time t (mg g−1)


Pseudo-first-order rate constants (min−1)


Pseudo-second-order rate constants [g (mg min)−1]


Intraparticle diffusion rate constant (g mg−1 min−1/2)


Time (min)


Langmuir isotherm constant (mg−1)


Maximum of adsorption capacity in Langmuir isotherm model (mg g−1)


Adsorption intensity


Freundlich isotherm constant (mg g−1)


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical Engineering, North Tehran BranchIslamic Azad UniversityTehranIran

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