• Biosorption of lead by citrus pectin and peels in aqueous solution

      Balaria, Ankit (2006-05)
      Biosorption of heavy metal ions by different pectin rich materials such as waste citrus peels is emerging as a promising technique for metallic contaminant removal. While binding rate and capacity of citrus peels were previously investigated, there is a lack of mechanistic information about Pb-citrus pectin/peels interaction mechanisms. Present research focused on evaluating this binding mechanism by corroborating macroscopic studies with spectroscopic techniques. Citrus pectins of two different methoxylation degrees and orange peels were characterized using potentiometric titrations and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Binding mechanisms were evaluated using molecular scale FTIR analyses. The effects of particle size, pH, co-ion presence, and background electrolyte concentrations were also investigated for biosorption of Pb by orange peels. Both citrus pectin and orange peels reached their sorption equilibrium within 45 minutes. The maximum uptake capacity for orange peels was found to be 2.32 mmol/g. Citrus peels have very similar FTIR spectra to citrus pectin, suggesting that they have similar functional groups and pectin can be used as a model for citrus peels. Furthermore, carboxylic acid groups were found to be responsible for binding of Pb by citrus pectin and orange peels.