Removal of humic substances by biosorption.
Fungal pellets of Aspergillus niger 405, Aspergillus ustus 326, and Stachybotrys sp. 1103 were used for the removal of humic substances from aqueous solutions. Batchwise biosorption, carried out at pH 6 and 25 degrees C, was monitored spectrophotometrically and the process described with Freundlich's model. Calculated sorption coefficients K(f) and n showed that A. niger exhibited the highest efficiency. A good match between the model and experimental data and a high correlation coefficient (R2) pointed out to judicious choice of the mechanism for removal of humic substances from the reaction medium. The sorption rate constants (k) for A. ustus and Stachybotrys sp. were almost equal, however higher than that for A. niger. Comparison of test results with the simulated ones demonstrated the applicability of the designed kinetic model for removal of humic substances from natural water by biosorption with fungal pellets. Different morphological structure of the examined fungal pellets showed that faster sorption does not imply the most efficient removal of humic substances. Desorption of humic substances from fungal pellets was complete, rapid, and yielded uniform results.
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