This study investigated adsorption of chromium on to a bio-adsorbent, Moringa oleifera seed. Different by-products of the seed processing were used as adsorbents. These include: the Whole Seed Powder (WSP), the Residue after Coagulant Extraction (RaCE) and an Activated Carbon (AC) prepared from the seed husk. Adsorption studies for the removal of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) were carried out in batch experiments and the effects of adsorbent dosage, contact time, pH and initial chromium concentration were analysed. Experimental results showed that maximum removal of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) was observed at pH 7 and pH 2, respectively. The percentage removals of Cr(III) by WSP, RaCE and AC were: 97, 94 and 99.9%, respectively. And the percentage removals of Cr(VI) by RaCE and AC were 47 and 83.2%, respectively. RaCE showed similar adsorption capacity to the WSP, which indicates that it is possible to extract a coagulant and use the waste product for adsorption. By using the RaCE, residual dissolved organic carbon in the treated water was significantly reduced compared to using the WSP. These results indicate that biomaterials can be considered as potential adsorbents for heavy metals removal from water or wastewater systems.
Keywords: adsorption isotherm, batch adsorption, bio-adsorbent, chromium (III) and (VI) removal, Moringa oleifera