Spontaneous Cr(VI) and Cd(II) biosorption potential of native pinnae tissue of Pteris vittata L., a tropical invasive pteridophyte.
Heavy metal pollution is a prevalent and critical environmental concern. Its rampancy is attributed to indiscriminate anthropogenic activities. Several technologies including biosorption have been continuously researched upon to overcome the limitations of the conventional method of treatments in removal of heavy metals. Biosorption technology involves the application of a biomass in its nonliving form. Pteris vittata L., a pteridophyte, considered as an invasive weed was investigated in the present study as a potential decontaminant of toxic metals, Cr(VI) and Cd(II). The adsorption capacity of the biosorbent for Cr(VI) and Cd(II) under equilibrium conditions was investigated. The morphology, elemental composition, functional groups, and thermal stability of the biosorbent before and after metal loading were evaluated. At 303 K and an equilibrium time of 120 min, the maximum loading of Cr(VI) on the biosorbent was estimated to be 166.7 mg/g at pH 2 and Cd(II) to be 31.3 mg/g at pH 6. Isotherm models, kinetic studies, and thermodynamic studies indicated the mechanisms, chemisorption, ion exchange and intraparticle diffusion, controlling the Cr(VI) and Cd(II) uptake, respectively. The interactive effect of multi-metal ions in binary component systems was synergistic for Cd(II) uptake. The results validate the toxic metal removal potency of the biosorbent.