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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 365163, 7 pages
Research Article

Biosorption of Zinc from Aqueous Solution Using Chemically Treated Rice Husk

1School of Resource and Environment, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China
2State Key Laboratory of Urban Water Resource and Environment, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150090, China
3School of Life Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong

Received 11 March 2013; Revised 29 May 2013; Accepted 29 May 2013

Academic Editor: Abdelwahab Omri

Copyright © 2013 Ying Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In this study, adsorption of zinc onto the adsorbent (untreated rice husk and NaOH-treated rice husk) was examined. During the removal process, batch technique was used, and the effects of pH and contact time were investigated. Langmuir isotherm was applied in order to determine the efficiency of NaOH-treated rice husk used as an adsorbent. The zinc adsorption was fast, and equilibrium was attained within 30 min. The maximum removal ratios of zinc for untreated rice husk and NaOH-treated rice husk after 1.5 h were 52.3% and 95.2%, respectively, with initial zinc concentration of 25 mg/L and optimum pH of 4.0. Data obtained from batch adsorption experiments fitted well with the Langmuir isotherm model. Maximum adsorption capacity of zinc onto untreated rice husk and NaOH-treated rice husk was 12.41 mg/g, and 20.08 mg/g respectively, at adsorbent dosage of 1 g/L at 25°C. The nature of functional groups (i.e., amino, carboxyl, and hydroxyl) and metal ion interactions was examined by the FT-IR technique. It was concluded that the NaOH-treated rice husk had stronger adsorption capacity for Zn2+ compared with the untreated rice husk. The NaOH-treated rice husk is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly adsorbent for Zn2+ removal from aqueous solutions.