Momona Ethiopian Journal of Science

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The Efficiency of Cactus Leaves and Wood Charcoal as a Potential Low-Cost Adsorbent for Removal of Toxic Heavy Metals from Industrial Effluents

Abraha Gebrekidan, Alem Halefom


Presence of toxic heavy metals in the environment is of great concern due to their persistence in nature and chronic adverse effects on human health and the environment. Present paper tries to evaluate the efficiency of cactus leaves (Opuntia f. indica) and activated carbon made from acacia etbiaca as an adsorbent for the removal of heavy metal pollutants such as cadmium, lead and chromium from water. Adsorption properties such as size, dose, initial concentration and time of contact for cadmium, lead and chromium were studied through batch method. Before removing the toxic heavy metals (Cd, Pb and Cr), the fresh unpeeled cactus leaves (adsorbent) and activated carbon were washed with distilled water to eliminate the turbidity and smell from fresh unpeeled cactus. To describe the equilibrium isotherms, the experimental data were analyzed by the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. Thus, the Freundlich model gave the best correlation with the experimental data. Therefore, the findings indicated that the cactus and activated carbon made locally from acacia etbiaca were found to be effective and low-cost alternative adsorbents for the removal of toxic heavy metals from industrial effluents. The preparation method allowed the use of these materials by local industries for effective remediation of pollution by removing heavy metals from their effluents.


Keywords: Cactus leaves; Acacia etbiaca; Heavy metals; Adsorption, Industrial effluents; Water purification.
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