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Chitosan, Chromium removal, Carbon nanotubes, Alginate Water treatment, Fixed bed adsorption


A new type of composite adsorbent, encapsulated chitosan-modified magnetic carbon nanotubes (CS/MWCNTs/Fe) beads were used to remove hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) from aqueous solutions in a fixed-bed column. Among the various combination of operating parameters, we obtain a maximum volume of treated effluent (210 mL) under the following conditions: flow rate, 1 mL min−1; bed height, 8 cm; feed Cr(VI) concentration, 30 mg L−1; and solution pH, 4.0 ± 0.2. The corresponding adsorption capacity was 1.54 mg g-1 and the overall Cr(VI) removal efficiency was 54 %. In characterizing the dynamics of the adsorption process and breakthrough profiles, we found that the Thomas model and the Yoon-Nelson model both accurately described the breakthrough curves under all experimental conditions, while the Adams-Bohart model was applicable only for an early phase of dynamic behavior CtC0≤0.5" role="presentation">CtC0≤0.5" role="presentation"> of the CS/MWCNTs/Fe beads column. Columns with shorter bed heights favored the global mass transfer rate, especially during the early breakthrough periods. Moreover, the bed depth service time (BDST) model was validated experimentally, enabling the prediction of service time of the adsorption bed at different outlet concentrations using hypothetical flow rates and inlet concentrations. Scaled-up study was performed to observe the column performance at higher throughputs. The high selectivity of Cr(VI) adsorption in the simulated wastewater in the presence of other heavy metals (copper and cadmium) and background anion (phosphate) suggests the applicability of CS/MWCNTs/Fe beads for Cr(VI) removal from industrial effluents.

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Aslam, M.M.A., W. Den, H.-W. Kuo (2021). “Removal of Hexavalent Chromium by Encapsulated Chitosan-Modified Carbon Nanotubes: Fixed-Bed Column Study and Modelling,” Journal of Water Processing Engineering 42: 102143. DOI:

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Available for download on Friday, May 17, 2024