In the present work, two industrial vegetable wastes, grape stalk, coming from a wine producer, and exhausted coffee, coming from a soluble coffee manufacturer, have been investigated for the removal of Cu(II) and Ni(II) from aqueous solutions in presence and in absence of the strongly complexing agent EDTA. Effects of pH and metal-EDTA molar ratio, kinetics as a function of sorbent concentration, and sorption equilibrium for both metals onto both sorbents were evaluated in batch experiments. Metal uptake was dependent of pH, reaching a maximum from pH around 5.5. EDTA was found to dramatically reduce metal adsorption, reaching total uptake inhibition for both metals onto both sorbents at equimolar metal:ligand concentrations. Kinetic results were successfully modelled by means of the pseudo second order model. Langmuir and Freundlich models were used to describe the sorption equilibrium data. Grape stalk showed the best performance for Cu(II) and Ni(II) removal in presence and in absence of EDTA, despite exhausted coffee appears as less sensitive to the presence of complexing agent. The performance of Cu(II) and Ni(II) sorption onto grape stalk in a continuous flow process was evaluated. In solutions containing EDTA, an initial metal concentration in the outlet flow corresponding to the complexed metal fraction was observed from the beginning of the process. A high metal recovery yield (>97%) was achieved by feeding the metal-loaded column with 0.05 M HCl. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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