Comparison of Spirulina platensis microalgae and commercial activated carbon as adsorbents for the removal of Reactive Red 120 dye from aqueous effluents

Cardoso, Natali Farias; Lima, Eder Claudio; Royer, Betina; Bach, Marta; Dotto, Guilherme Luiz; Pinto, Luiz Antonio de Almeida; Calvete, Tatiana


Spirulina platensis microalgae (SP) and commercial activated carbon (AC) were compared as adsorbents to remove Reactive Red 120 (RR-120) textile dye from aqueous effluents. The batch adsorption system was evaluated in relation to the initial pH, contact time, initial dye concentration and temperature. An alternative kinetic model (general order kinetic model) was compared with the traditional pseudo-first order and pseudo-second order kinetic models. The equilibrium data were fitted to the Langmuir, Freundlich and Liu isotherm models, and the thermodynamic parameters were also estimated. Finally, the adsorbents were employed to treat a simulated dye-house effluent. The general order kinetic model was more appropriate to explain RR-120 adsorption by SP and AC. The equilibrium data were best fitted to the Liu isotherm model. The maximum adsorption capacities of RR-120 dye were found at pH 2 and 298 K, and the values were 482.2 and 267.2 mg g−1 for the SP and AC adsorbents, respectively. The thermodynamic study showed that the adsorption was exothermic, spontaneous and favourable. The SP and AC adsorbents presented good performance for the treatment of simulated industrial textile effluents, removing 94.4–99.0% and 93.6–97.7%, respectively, of the dye mixtures containing high saline concentrations.

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