The biosorption and desorption of Cr, Cu and Al were carried out using brown marine algae Sargassum fluitans biomass, known as the good biosorbent of heavy metals. The content of alginate bound to light metals could be changed by physical and chemical pretreatment. The maximum uptake of Cr, Cu and Al was independent of the alginate content. The maximum uptaker of Al was two times(mole basis) than those of Cu and Cr. The aluminum-alginate complex was found in the sorption solution of raw and protonated biomass. Most of Cu, Al and light metals sorbed in the biomass were eluted at pH 1.1. However, only 5 to 10% of Cr sorbed was eluted at pH 1.1. The stoiceometric ion exchange between Cu and Ca ion was observed on Cu biosorption with Ca-loaded biomass. A part of Cr ion was bound to biomass as Cr(OH)2+ or Cr(OH)2+. Al was also bound to biomass as multi-valence ion and interfered with the desorbed Ca ion. The behavior of raw S. fluitans in ten consecutive sorption-desorption cycles has been investigated in a packed bed flow-through-column during a continuous removal of copper from a 35 mg/L aqueous solution at pH 5. The eluant used was a 1%(w/v) CaCl2/HC solution at pH 3.
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