American Journal of Applied Sciences

Adsorption of Pb(II) on Spent Leaves of Green and Black Tea

Antonio Zuorro and Roberto Lavecchia

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2010.153.159

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 7, Issue 2

Pages 153-159


Problem statement: In recent years much attention has been focused on the use of biomass residues as low-cost adsorbents for the removal of heavy metal ions from contaminated waters. Spent tea leaves, an abundantly available material that is currently disposed of as a solid waste, are potentially suitable for such applications. Approach: To provide some information on the adsorption properties of tea waste, we evaluated the removal efficiency of lead ions by spent leaves of green and black tea. Batch adsorption experiments were made at 25 and 40°C at initial lead-ion concentrations between 0.01 and 2 g L-1. Equilibrium data were analyzed by the Langmuir equation to evaluate the maximum adsorption capacity and the equilibrium constant. The adsorption characteristics of the two materials were also compared with those of coffee grounds, activated carbon and Fuller’s earth. Results: Experimental data showed that removal efficiencies up to 98-99% can be achieved when using spent tea leaves as lead adsorbent. The results were only marginally affected by the type of tea waste. At low lead loading, the adsorption equilibrium was well described by the Langmuir equation, with a maximum adsorption capacity of 83-130 mg g-1 and an equilibrium constant ranging from 0.112-0.245 L mg-1. A comparison with other adsorbents provided the following order for lead removal efficiency: Black tea, coffee grounds > green tea > Fuller’s earth > activated carbon. Conclusion: The results from this study indicate that using spent tea leaves as an adsorbent may be an efficient and economical means for removing lead and, presumably, other heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions.


© 2010 Antonio Zuorro and Roberto Lavecchia. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.