Applicability and toxicity evaluation of an adsorbent based on jujube for the removal of toxic heavy metals

Byungryul An, Chang Gu Lee, Mi Kyung Song, Jae Chun Ryu, Soonjae Lee, Seong Jik Park, Dongye Zhao, Song Bae Kim, Chanhyuk Park, Sang Hyup Lee, Seok Won Hong, Jae Woo Choi

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22 Scopus citations


Abstract The removal of heavy metals from industrial wastewater is important, owing to its eco-toxicity in aqueous environment. In this study, the mechanism and efficiency of the removal of toxic heavy metals by an eco-friendly adsorbent was investigated. Various types of adsorbents made from jujube were synthesized by varying the drying temperature of gel-type beads and elution method for jujube constituents. The maximum adsorption capacity for lead and copper ions was determined using the Langmuir isotherm model, with DJB-A-S-F (freeze-dried jujube bead made from a solution of squeezed autoclaved jujube) having the highest values at 60.44 mg/g (lead) and 20.33 mg/g (copper). In addition, the characteristics of the various adsorbents were determined by the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) method, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was used to identify the constituents of DJB-A-S-F before and after adsorption of heavy metals (Pb- and Cu-DJB-A-S-F). Furthermore, in vitro cytotoxicity assay was performed to investigate whether the binding of heavy metals to DJB-A-S-F increases cellular toxicity. As a result, no differences in cell viability between DJB-A-S-F and the ones coupled to heavy metals were observed, indicating that the developed adsorbents are non-cytotoxic with good compatibility. Thus, DJB-A-S-F is a promising adsorbent for the removal of toxic heavy metal cations from wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3531
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
JournalReactive and Functional Polymers
StatePublished - 25 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Korea Ministry of Environment as “The Eco-Innovation Program” (No. 2012001340002 ) and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) institutional program ( 2E25311 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.


  • Adsorption
  • Eco-friendly
  • Jujube
  • Toxic heavy metals
  • Toxicity evaluation


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