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Biosorption of inorganic mercury onto marine alga Sargassum tenerrimum: batch and column studies

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The potential of Sargassum tenerrimmum algal biomass to remove Hg (II) from aqueous solution is investigated through batch experiments with regard to the influence of solution pH, adsorbent dosage and agitation rate. The algal biomass showed increased sorption capacity with increase in solution pH in the range of 4-7 with the maximum uptake of 3 mmolg−1 at pH 7. For maximum uptake, the optimal agitation rate was found to be 150 rpm. The equilibrium studies were carried out to test the validity of Langmuir (Qmax = 1.900 mmolg−1 and b = 0.526 m−1mol−1) and Freundlich (n = 1.430 and K = 183.821 mol−1) isotherms. The effects of bed height and flow rate on continuous mercury removal were studied using BDST and Thomas models respectively.

Keywords: biosorption, marine algae, mercury removal, isotherm, fixed column studies, Sargassum tenerrimum, biomass, adsorption, bed height, flow rate, water pollution

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