2012 Volume 27 Issue 3 Pages 234-241
The mining industry generates huge amounts of wastewater, containing toxic heavy metals. Treatment to remove heavy metals is necessary and recent work has been focused on finding more environmentally friendly materials for removing heavy metals from wastewater. Biosorption can be an effective process for heavy metal removal from aqueous solutions. Our objectives were to investigate the removal of copper (II) from aqueous solutions using dead cells of Mesorhizobium amorphae CCNWGS0123 under differing levels of pH, agitation speed, temperature, initial copper concentration, biosorbent dose and contact time using flame atomic absorption spectroscopy for metal estimation. The maximum copper removal rate was achieved at pH 5.0, agitation speed 150×g, temperature 28°C and initial Cu (II) concentration of 100 mg L-1. Maximum biosorption capacity was at 0.5 g L-1 and equilibrium was attained within 30 min. Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms showed correlation coefficients of 0.958 and 0.934, respectively. Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis indicated that many functional groups, such as O-H, N-H, C-H, C=O, -NH, -CN, C-N, C-O, amide -I, -II, -III and unsaturated alkenes, alkyls and aromatic groups on the cell surface were involved in the interaction between CCNWGS0123 and Cu. Scanning electron microscope and energy dispersive X-ray scanning results showed deformation, aggregation, and cell-surface damage due to the precipitation of copper on the cell surface. Dead cells of CCNWGS0123 showed potential as an efficient biosorbent for the removal of Cu2+ from aqueous solutions.