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Title: The role of biomass elemental composition and ion-exchange in metal sorption by algae
Author: Carreira, Ana R. F.
Veloso, Telma
Macário, Inês P. E.
Pereira, Joana L.
Ventura, Sónia P. M.
Passos, Helena
Coutinho, João A. P.
Keywords: Macroalgae
Sorption mechanism
Metal recovery
Issue Date: Feb-2023
Publisher: Elsevier
Abstract: The use of macroalgae, microalgae and cyanobacteria for metal sorption has been widely reported. Still, there are no studies allowing a direct comparison of the performance of these biomasses, especially while evaluating metal competition. The simultaneous sorption of Co2+, Cu2+, Ni2+ and Zn2+ present in a multi-elemental solution by six macroalgae, two microalgae and three cyanobacteria was evaluated. Brown macroalgae were shown to be the most promising biosorbent, with Undaria pinnatifida having a total metal sorption capacity of 0.6 mmol g-1. Overall, macroalgae performed better than microalgae, followed by cyanobacteria. Carboxyl groups were identified as being the main functional groups involved in metal sorption, and all biomass samples were found to be selective to Cu2+. This was linked not only to its higher complexation constant value with relevant functional groups when compared to the remaining metals, but also the Irving-Williams series. The release of K+ and Ca2+ to the aqueous solution during the metal sorption was followed. The obtained results suggest they are readily exchanged with metals in the solution, indicating the occurrence of an ion-exchange mechanism in metal sorption by most biomass. Red macroalgae are an exception to the reported trends, suggesting that their metal sorption mechanism may differ from the other biomass types.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.137675
ISSN: 0045-6535
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