Response surface methodology (RSM) based on central composite rotatable design was used to investigate the effects of operating variable, mainly, pH, weight of biomass, and initial lead ion concentration on the lead adsorption capacity at ambient temperature using dried cells of Lactobacillius bulgaricus. Using RSM, quadratic polynomial equation was obtained for predicting the percent of lead ion removal. Analysis of variance showed that the effects of pH and weight of dried biomass were concluded to be the key factors influencing the capacity of lead ion removal. At pH lower than 2 (high acidic condition) and in alkaline condition, there is no significant biosorption. The optimum percent of lead ion removal was found at pH of 6.78, biomass concentration of 6.58 g/l and initial lead concentration 36. 22 ppm. In this condition, percent of lead ion removal was 86.21%. This study showed RSM effectiveness for modeling of biosorption process.
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