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Title: Removal of toxic metals from solution by leaf, stem and root phytomass of Quercus ilex L. (holly oak)
Authors: Prasad, M. N. V. 
Freitas, H. 
Keywords: Quercus ilex; Chromium; Cadmium; Phytomass; Biosorption; Desorption
Issue Date: 2000
Citation: Environmental Pollution. 110:2 (2000) 277-283
Abstract: Increased consciousness for safeguarding the aqueous environment has prompted a search for alternative technologies for the removal of toxic metal ions from aqueous solutions. In this regard, a wide variety of biomass is being considered as adsorbents of heavy metals for treatment of industrial and domestic wastewaters as well as natural waters, including drinking water. In the present investigation, the potential of Quercus ilex phytomass from stem, leaf and root as an adsorbent of chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) at ambient temperature was investigated. The metal uptake capacity of the root for different metals was found to be in the order: Ni>Cd>Pb>Cu>Cr; stem Ni>Pb>Cu>Cd>Cr; and leaf Ni>Cd>Cu>Pb>Cr. The highest amount adsorbed was Ni (root>leaf>stem). Data from this laboratory demonstrated that Ni is sequestered mostly in the roots, where concentrations can be as high as 428.4 ng/g dry wt., when 1-year-old seedlings were treated with Ni (2000 mg/l) in pot culture experiments, compared to 7.63 ng/g dry wt., control (garden and greenhouse soil) topsoil where Ni was present in trace amounts. This proves that the root biomass of Q. ilex has the capacity for complexing Ni. Cr exhibited the least adsorption values for all the three types of phytomass compared to other metals. The trend of adsorption of the phytomass was similar for Ni and Cd, i.e. root>leaf>stem. Desorption with 10 mM Na4 EDTA was effective (55-90%) and, hence, there exists the possibility of recycling the phytomass. The biosorption results of recycled phytomass suggest that the selected adsorbents are re-usable. The advantages and potential of the Q. ilex phytomass as a biofilter of toxic trace metals, the scope and need for enhancing the efficiency of the Q. ilex phytomass as an adsorbent of metals are presented.
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Ciências da Vida - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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