Biosorption of toxic chromium from aqueous phase by lignin: Mechanism, effect of other metal ions and salts

Ahmad B. Albadarin*, Ala'a H. Al-Muhtaseb, Nasir A. Al-laqtah, Gavin M. Walker, Stephen J. Allen, Mohammad N.M. Ahmad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)


Surface reaction methodology was implicated in the optimization of hexavalent chromium removal onto lignin with respect to the process parameters. The influence of altering the conditions for removal of chromium(VI), for instance; solution pH, ionic strength, initial concentration, the dose of biosorbent, presence of other metals (Zn and Cu), presence of salts and biosorption-desorption studies, were investigated. It was found that the biosorption capacity of lignin depends on solution pH, with a maximum biosorption capacity for chromium at pH 2. Experimental equilibrium data were fitted to five different isotherm models by non-linear regression method, however, the biosorption equilibrium data were well interpreted by the Freundlich isotherm. The maximum biosorption capacities (qmax) obtained using Dubinin-Radushkevich and Khan isotherms for Cr(VI) biosorption are 31.6 and 29.1mg/g, respectively. Biosorption showed pseudo second order rate kinetics at different initial concentrations of Cr(VI). The intraparticle diffusion study indicated that film diffusion may be involved in the current study. The percentage removal of chromium on lignin decreased significantly in the presence of NaHCO3 and K2P2O7 salts. Desorption data revealed that nearly 70% of the Cr(VI) adsorbed on lignin could be desorbed using 0.1M NaOH. It was evident that the biosorption mechanism involves the attraction of both hexavalent chromium (anionic) and trivalent chromium (cationic) onto the surface of lignin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-30
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosorption
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Isotherm
  • Lignin
  • Reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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