Various kinds of agro and wood based fibres can be used to filter both trace and heavy metals from contaminated solutions. The efficacy of thioglycolic acid treated oil-palm fibre was investigated in this study. The result showed maximum absorptions (at pH = 6) of 83.6, 75.6 and 50.8% for Fe++, Zn++ and Mg++ respectively in the Southern Point (SP) samples. Similarly, 79.1, 78.3 and 77.5% for Fe++, Zn++ and Mg++ were obtained for Northern Point (NP) samples. The removal efficiency of the metals was pH as well as ionic size dependent. The uptake capacities showed that iron had a higher capacity than zinc while magnesium had the least. This study therefore suggests that thioglycolic acid modified oil-palm fibre is highly efficient in sorption of metals from solutions and should be used as such at a slightly acidic pH.
Key words: Heavy metal removal, thioglycolic acid modified oil-palm fibre.
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