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Open Access Research article

Study of Mo (VI) removal from aqueous solution: application of different mathematical models to continuous biosorption data

Fatemeh Kafshgari1, Ali Reza Keshtkar2* and Mohammad Ali Mousavian1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Nuclear Fuel Cycle School, Nuclear Science and Technology Research Institute, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Tehran, Iran

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Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Science & Engineering 2013, 10:14  doi:10.1186/1735-2746-10-14

Published: 25 January 2013


Molybdenum (VI) biosorption process was investigated by marine algae Cystoseria indica pretreated with 0.1 M CaCl2 solution in a packed bed column. The biosorbent was characterized by FTIR, BET and SEM analyses. The results showed that Mo (VI) ions should be chelated with the hydroxyl, carboxyl and amine groups of the biomass. The effects of inlet metal concentration and flow rate on biosorption process were investigated and the experimental breakthrough curves were obtained. Results showed that the maximum biosorption capacity of Ca-pretreated C. indica for Mo (VI) was found to be 18.32 mg/g at optimum flow rate of (1.4 mL/min). The controlled-rate step shifted from external to internal mass transfer limitations, as the flow rate increased. Also, it was observed that the breakthrough and exhaustion time decreased from 17.14 hr to 9.05 hr and from 0.006 h to 0.002 hr respectively, with the increase of flow rate from 0.7 to 2.1 ML/min. The increase in the initial concentration of Mo (VI) solution from 30 to 95 ml min-1 increases the adsorption capacity from 18.32 to 30.19 mg/g and decreases the percentage of Mo (VI) removal from 61 to 38%. Also, the treated volume was the greatest (1.42 L) at the lowest inlet concentration. Column data obtained under different conditions were described using the Thomas, Yoon and Nelson, Yan and Belter models. The breakthrough curve predictions by Belter model were found to be very satisfactory.

Biosorption; Molybdenum; Packed bed column; Marin algae; Cystoseria indica