Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 832571, 6 pages
Research Article

Cadmium Removal from Aqueous Systems Using Opuntia albicarpa L. Scheinvar as Biosorbent

1Centro de Investigaciones Químicas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Carretera Pachuca-Tulancingo Km 4.5, Ciudad Universitaria, 42067 Pachuca, HGO, Mexico
2Programa de Ingeniería en Biotecnología, Universidad Politécnica de Pachuca, Ex-Hacienda de Santa Bárbara, Carretera Pachuca-Ciudad Sahagún Km 20, 43830 Zempoala, HGO, Mexico

Received 17 September 2015; Revised 21 November 2015; Accepted 22 November 2015

Academic Editor: Basel Khraiwesh

Copyright © 2015 Rosa Icela Beltrán-Hernández 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.


The aim of this research was to investigate the use of a natural adsorbent like nopal (Opuntia albicarpa L. Scheinvar) for removing cadmium from aqueous solutions with low concentrations of this metal. Two treatments were applied to the cladodes: a dehydration to get dehydrated nopal (DHN) and heating up to 90°C to obtain a thermally treated nopal (TN). After examining the effect of various pH values (2–7), the capacity of each biosorbent was examined in batch sorption tests at different dosages (0, 500, 1000, 1500, 2000, and 3000 mg L−1). The results indicated that adsorption of cadmium to biomass of DHN and TN was highly dependent on pH and biosorbent dosage. The best removal of cadmium (53.3%, corresponding to of 0.155 mg g−1) was obtained at pH 4.0 by using the TN sorbent. Infrared and Raman spectra confirmed that cadmium removal occurred via adsorption to –OH functional groups.