ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Removal of Cr(III) through Bread Mold Fungus
Amna Shoaib1, Nida Aslam1, M. Makshoof Athar2, Sundus Akhtar1, Nafisa1, Saba Khurshid1
 
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1Institute of Agricultural Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
2Istitute of Chemistry, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
 
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2013;22(4):1171–1176
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ABSTRACT
Cr(III) removal ability of indigenous soil fungus of Pakistan (i.e. Rhizopus arrhizus Fisher) was checked through batch trails. Experiments were performed by taking 0.1 g of powdered fungal biomass in 100 mL of metal solution kept at 150 rpm for 3 hours. Results of FTIR spectroscopy revealed that amine (-NH2) and hydroxyl (-OH) groups participated in Cr(III) binding with the fungal biomass. There was an inversely proportional relationship between adsorption efficiency and capacity on increasing initial metal concentration in the range of 20-100 mg/L. The adsorption capacity of fungal biomass was 43.47 mg/g as determined by Langmuir isotherm. High correlation coefficient (R2: 0.99) acquired through Langumir and Frendulich models adequately described the adsorption mechanism on fungal biomass. pH optimization trials in the range of 2-10 exhibited significantly greater adsorption efficiency of 75% at pH 4, while metal removal rate declined with increasing pH. Adsorption/adsorption trials with four acids indicted that maximum desorption of Cr(III) was found with HCl, followed by HNO3, CH3COOH, and H2SO4. Adsorption-based trials summarized that R. arrhizus is a potential and inexpensive biomaterial with viable application in the removal of Cr(III) from the aqueous solution.
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