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Title: Removal of selected heavy metals from wastewater using modified agricultural waste
Authors: Msimango, Maureen Nomaxhosa 
Keywords: Wastewater;Heavy metals;Removal;Agricultural waste
Issue Date: Sep-2023
This study explores the potential of utilizing inexpensive adsorbent materials derived from
agricultural waste to eliminate Zn (II), Ni (II) and Cd (II) from water-based solutions.
Sugarcane bagasse was chemically modified to extract cellulose and further functionalize
extracted cellulose to prepare carboxymethyl cellulose which were used as biosorbents. The
biosorbents were characterized using XRD, FTIR (ATR), and SEM for confirmation of
physical and chemical properties and surface morphology of the adsorbents. In batch
experiments, the effect of various parameters such initial concentration (10-300 mg/L), pH (2-
8), adsorbent mass (0.1-1.7 g), and contact time (5-150 min). Adsorption was poor for all metals
below pH 4 and reached maximum removal efficiency at pH 6. The increase in initial
concentration favoured the increase in removal efficiency but reaches a maximum beyond 100
mg/L. The increase in biosorbent mass shows favours increase in removal efficiency for Ni (II)
and Cd (II) but a decrease was observed for Zn(II). The removal efficiency increased with
contact time and reached equilibrium at 60 minutes for all metals and biosorbents. The
maximum adsorption capacities of Zn(II), on SCB, SCBC, and CMC were 12.3, 20.9 , and 33.5
mg/g respectively. Ni (II) adsorption capacities on SCB, SCBC, and CMC, were 41.9, 25.4,
and 125.7 mg/g respectively. The maximum capacities of Cd(II) on SCB, SCBC, and CMC,
were 11.3, 20.8, and 21.6 mg/g respectively. The performance of CMC superseded SCB and
SCBC. Kinetic experiments showed that the adsorption process followed pseudo second order
whereas the equilibrium studies showed that the adsorption process followed the Langmuir
adsorption isotherm
Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Applied Science in Chemistry, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2023.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Applied Sciences)

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