ABSTRACT In this study, the ability of red alga (Palmaria palmata) and beer draff (brewery waste) for Cu(II) removal was investigated. The influence of factors, such as pH, initial copper concentrations, and contact time, were also studied. Results showed the adsorption process was strongly dependent on the pH value and initial concentration. The optimum pH value was in the range of 5-6. The Langmuir isotherm model performed better than other models, suggesting monolayer adsorption prevailed in the adsorption process. The theoretical adsorption capacities for Cu(II) were 12.7 mg/g and 9.01 mg/g for red alga and beer draff, respectively. The spectroscopy analyses and desorption studies showed that chemical bonding was the main mechanism in the adsorption process rather than ion exchange. The functional groups of amino, hydroxyl, carboxyl, phenolic hydroxyl, sulphonic group and C–O, –NH stretch might be involved in adsorption. After adsorption, both materials were successfully regenerated by nitric acid at a concentration of 10 mmol/L. Furthermore, the phenomenon that only 7% of adsorbed Cu(II) on red alga and 11% on beer draff were desorbed by sodium chloride solution suggested potential alternative of both materials for the treatment of road runoff containing considerable amounts of de-icing salt.
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