African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6688

Full Length Research Paper

Papaya (Carica papaya) seed as a low-cost sorbent for zinc removal

Siew-Teng Ong1*, Shiau-Ping Yip1, Pei-Sin Keng2, Siew-Ling Lee3 and Yung-Tse Hung4
1Department of Chemical Science, Faculty of Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Universiti, Bandar Barat, 31900 Kampar, Perak, Malaysia. 2Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, International Medical University, No.126, Jalan 19/155B, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 3Ibnu Sina Institute for Fundamental Science Studies, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor Malaysia. 4Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 06 December 2011
  •  Published: 04 February 2012


The potential of using papaya seed as a sorbent for the removal of Zn from aqueous solution was investigated. The sorption characteristics of the sorbent was studied under various experimental conditions, such as pH, contact time, concentration of Zn(II), agitation rate and sorbent’s particle size. The equilibrium data have been studied using Langmuir, Freundlich and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller equations. The best correlation was obtained using Langmuir isotherm with the regression coefficient value of 0.9799 and maximum sorption capacity of 19.88 mg/g. The effective pH for the maximum uptake of Zn(II) was at pH 5.0. An increase in percentage uptake of Zn(II) can be observed with increasing contact time and agitation rate. Decrease in sorbent particle size led to an increase in the sorption of Zn(II) and this could be explained by an increase in surface area and hence binding site. Equilibrium was attained around 60 min indicating this sorbent could be a potential material for continuous flow system.


Key words:  Papaya seed, sorption, zinc, heavy metal removal, kinetics, modelling.