Column studies for biosorption of dyes from aqueous solutions on immobilised Aspergillus niger fungal biomass

  • Yuzhu Fu
  • T Viraraghavan
Keywords: Aspergillus niger, Immobilisation, Acid Blue 29, Basic Blue 9, Congo Red, Disperse Red 1


Biosorption is becoming a promising alternative to replace or supplement the present dye removal processes from dye wastewaters. Based on the results of batch studies on biosorption of the dyes on powdered fungal biomass, Aspergillus niger, an immobilised fungal biomass was used in column studies for removal of four dyes, Acid Blue 29, Basic Blue 9, Congo Red and Disperse Red 1 from aqueous solutions. For each dye, the effectively pretreated powdered fungal biomass was immobilised in a polysulphone matrix in the form of spherical beads. In column studies, adsorption and elution tests were conducted for each dye and the regeneration and reuse for Acid Blue 29 were carried out. The breakthrough data from column studies could be described by the Thomas model. Results of t-tests indicated that the Thomas model constants were statistically significant at 95% confidence level for Acid Blue 29 and Basic Blue 9, but not for Congo Red and Disperse Red 1. The beads had adsorption capacities of 64.7 mg/g for Acid Blue 29, 8.3 mg/g for Basic Blue 9, 1.1 mg/g for Congo Red, and 0.1 mg/g for Disperse Red 1, respectively. In the elution tests, Acid Blue 29 and Basic Blue 9 were easily desorbed from the beads, but Congo Red and Disperse Red 1 were minimally desorbed. The beads in the column retained a high adsorption capacity (91%) for Acid Blue 29 in the second cycle, which suggested that the system using A. niger biomass can be developed for the removal of certain dyes.

WaterSA Vol.29(4) 2003: 465-472

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eISSN: 0378-4738