Sorption of Cd(II) and Se(IV) from aqueous solution using modified rice husk

E. I. El-Shafey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


A carbonaceous sorbent was prepared from rice husk via sulfuric acid treatment. Removal of Cd(II) and Se(IV) from aqueous solution was studied varying time, pH, metal concentration, temperature and sorbent status (wet and dry). Cd(II) sorption was found fast reaching equilibrium within ∼2 h while Se(IV) sorption was slow reaching equilibrium within ∼200 h with better performance for the wet sorbent than for the dry. Kinetics data for both metals were found to follow pseudo-second order model. Cd(II) sorption was low at low pH values and increased with pH increase, however, Se(IV) sorption was high at low pH values, and decreased with the rise in initial pH until pH 7. A fall in the final pH was noticed with Cd(II) sorption due to the release of protons indicating an ion exchange mechanism. However, for Se(IV) sorption, a rise in the final pH was observed due to protons consumption in the process. For both metals, sorption fit well the Langmuir equation with higher uptake by rising the temperature. Analysis by scanning electron microscope and X-ray powder diffraction for the sorbent after the reaction with acidified Se(IV) confirmed the availability of elemental selenium, Se(0), as particles on the sorbent surface. The reduction process of acidified Se(IV) to Se(0) is accompanied by surface oxidation. Physicochemical tests showed an increase in sorbent acidity, cation exchange capacity and surface functionality after the reaction with acidified Se(IV) indicating that oxidation processes took place on the sorbent surface. On the other hand, no changes in physicochemical tests were found after Cd(II) sorption indicating the absence of redox processes between Cd(II) and the sorbent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-555
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 17 2007


  • Cd(II)
  • Ion exchange
  • Modified rice husk
  • Reduction
  • Se(IV)
  • Sorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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