Marine algae Haliptilon roseum was encapsulated in chitosan beads and used as a hybrid adsorbent for the elimination of divalent copper ions from solutions. Copper removal was optimized in batch experiments at room temperature using 75 mg of dry adsorbent, a metal concentration of 100 mg/L and at an initial pH of 5. A maximum adsorption capacity of 64.02 mg of Cu per gram of adsorbent was achieved. The experimental data was modeled according to the isotherm models of Langmuir, Freundlich, Dubinin-Radushkevich and Temkin. Adsorption modeling demonstrates a combination of mechanisms where electrostatic interactions play an important role. Desorption experiments demonstrated a strong metal-adsorbent affinity, showing that mildly acidic conditions desorb 50% of the metal ions from the adsorbent. Finally, Hudson and East river (New York City, USA) water samples were tested as solution matrix to evaluate the applicability of these adsorbents under real conditions. Results indicate that adsorption is decreased, but comparable to other more expensive adsorbents. This study proposes hybrid gel beads of chitosan and marine algae as adsorbents of copper ions from solutions and as potential stationary phases for the chromatographic separations.
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