Adsorption of Metallic Ions onto Chitosan : Equilibrium and Kinetic Studies

Sammanfattning: Equilibrium isotherms and the adsorption kinetics of heavy metals onto chitosan were studied experimentally. Chitosan, a biopolymer produced from crustacean shells, has applications in various areas, particularly in drinking water and wastewater treatment due to its ability to remove metallic ions from solutions. The adsorption capacity of chitosan depends on a number of parameters: deacetylation degree, molecular weight, particle size and crystallinity. The purpose of this work was to study the adsorption of copper, zinc, mercury, and arsenic on chitosan produced from shrimp shells at a laboratory level. The experimental work involved the determination of the adsorption isotherms for each metallic ion in a batch system. The resulting isotherms were fitted using the Langmuir model and the parameters of the equation were determined. Kinetic studies of adsorption for different metallic ions at different concentrations and with different particle sizes were performed in batch and column systems. Simplified models such as pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, and intra-particle diffusion equations were used to determine the rate-controlling step. Some preliminary studies were carried out to address the application of chitosan as an adsorbent in the removal of heavy metals or other metallic ions from natural water and wastewater. The regeneration of chitosan was also studied. The results showed that the adsorption capacity depends strongly on pH and on the species of metallic ions in the solution. The optimum pH value for the metallic cation adsorption was between 4 and 6, whereas for arsenic adsorption it was about 3. When the pH is not controlled, the adsorption capacity is independent of the initial pH with the solution reaching a final pH of about 7. It was also found that the Langmuir equation described very well the experimental adsorption data for each metallic ion. The adsorption capacity for the metals on chitosan follows the sequence Hg>Cu>Zn>As. The study of the adsorption kinetics of these metallic ions shows that the particle size has a significant influence on the metal uptake rate for copper; but that it has only a slight influence on the adsorption rate of zinc and mercury in the range studied. Arsenic adsorption exhibited an interesting behaviour which depends strongly on the pH of the solution; the uptake increased at short adsorption times and then decreased at long times. The analysis of kinetic models showed that the pseudo-second-order adsorption mechanism is predominant, and the overall rate of the metallic ion adsorption process is therefore controlled by adsorption reactions and not by mass transfer for the range of particle sizes examined in this study. With regard to the regeneration of chitosan, it was found that sodium hydroxide is a good agent for zinc and arsenic desorption, whereas ammonium sulphate and sodium chloride were the most suitable for copper and mercury desorption, respectively. The ability of chitosan to remove arsenic from natural water, and copper and zinc from mining waste water was verified. The use of these results for designing purposes is a subject for future work.