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Biosorption and desorption of lanthanum(III) and neodymium(III) in fixed-bed columns with Sargassum sp.: Perspectives for separation of rare earth metals

Authors

  • Robson C. Oliveira,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Bioquímica e Tecnologia Química, Instituto de Química, UNESP – Univ Estadual Paulista, Rua Prof. Francisco Degni, s/n, C. P. 14800-900, Araraquara/SP, Brazil
    • Departamento de Bioquímica e Tecnologia Química, Instituto de Química, UNESP – Univ Estadual Paulista, Rua Prof. Francisco Degni, s/n, C. P. 14800-900, Araraquara/SP, Brazil
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  • Eric Guibal,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoire Génie de l'Environnement Industriel, Ecole des Mines d'Alès (EMA), 6, avenue de Clavières – F-30319 Alès cedex, Alès, France
    • Laboratoire Génie de l'Environnement Industriel, Ecole des Mines d'Alès (EMA), 6, avenue de Clavières – F-30319 Alès cedex, Alès, France
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  • Oswaldo Garcia Jr.

    1. Departamento de Bioquímica e Tecnologia Química, Instituto de Química, UNESP – Univ Estadual Paulista, Rua Prof. Francisco Degni, s/n, C. P. 14800-900, Araraquara/SP, Brazil
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Abstract

Rare earth (RE) metals are essentials for the manufacturing of high-technology products. The separation of RE is complex and expensive; biosorption is an alternative to conventional processes. This work focuses on the biosorption of monocomponent and bicomponent solutions of lanthanum(III) and neodymium(III) in fixed-bed columns using Sargassum sp. biomass. The desorption of metals with HCl 0.10 mol L−1 from loaded biomass is also carried out with the objective of increasing the efficiency of metal separation. Simple models have been successfully used to model breakthrough curves (i.e., Thomas, Bohart-Adams, and Yoon-Nelson equations) for the biosorption of monocomponent solutions. From biosorption and desorption experiments in both monocomponent and bicomponent solutions, a slight selectivity of the biomass for Nd(III) over La(III) is observed. The experiments did not find an effective separation of the RE studied, but their results indicate a possible partition between the metals, which is the fundamental condition for separation perspectives. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 2012

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