Continuous Fixed-Bed Column Studies on Congo Red Dye Adsorption-Desorption Using Free and Immobilized Nelumbo nucifera Leaf Adsorbent.
The adsorption of Congo red (CR), an azo dye, from aqueous solution using free and immobilized agricultural waste biomass of Nelumbo nucifera (lotus) has been studied separately in a continuous fixed-bed column operation. The N. nucifera leaf powder adsorbent was immobilized in various polymeric matrices and the maximum decolorization efficiency (83.64%) of CR occurred using the polymeric matrix sodium silicate. The maximum efficacy (72.87%) of CR dye desorption was obtained using the solvent methanol. Reusability studies of free and immobilized adsorbents for the decolorization of CR dye were carried out separately in three runs in continuous mode. The % color removal and equilibrium dye uptake of the regenerated free and immobilized adsorbents decreased significantly after the first cycle. The decolorization efficiencies of CR dye adsorption were 53.66% and 43.33%; equilibrium dye uptakes were 1.179 mg g-1 and 0.783 mg g-1 in the third run of operation with free and immobilized adsorbent, respectively. The column experimental data fit very well to the Thomas and Yoon-Nelson models for the free and immobilized adsorbent with coefficients of correlation R2 ≥ 0.976 in various runs. The study concludes that free and immobilized N. nucifera can be efficiently used for the removal of CR from synthetic and industrial wastewater in a continuous flow mode. It makes a substantial contribution to the development of new biomass materials for monitoring and remediation of toxic dye-contaminated water resources.
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