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.
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