This study focused on the sustainable removal of chromium in its hexavalent form by adsorption using sugar-extracted spent marine macroalgal biomass – Ulva prolifera. The adsorption of Cr (VI) from aqueous solutions utilizing macroalgal biomass was studied under varying conditions of pH, adsorbent amount, agitation speed, and time to assess and optimize the process variables by using a statistical method – response surface methodology (RSM) to enhance the adsorption efficiency. The maximum adsorption efficiency of 99.11 ± 0.23% was obtained using U. prolifera under the optimal conditions: pH: 5.4, adsorbent dosage: 200 mg, agitation speed: 160 rpm, and time: 75 min. Also, a prediction tool – artificial neural network (ANN) model was developed using the RSM experimental data. Eight neurons in the hidden layer yielded the best network topology (4-8-1) with a high correlation coefficient (RANN: 0.99219) and low mean squared error (MSEANN: 0.99219). Various performance parameters were compared between RSM and ANN models, which confirmed that the ANN model was better in predicting the response with a high coefficient of determination value (R2ANN: 0.9844, R2RSM: 0.9721) and low MSE value (MSEANN: 3.7002, MSERSM: 6.2179). The adsorption data were analyzed by fitting to various equilibrium isotherms. The maximum adsorption capacity was estimated as 6.41 mg/g. Adsorption data was in line with Freundlich isotherm (R2 = 0.97) that confirmed the multilayer adsorption process. Therefore, the spent U. prolifera biomass can credibly be applied as a low-cost adsorbent for Cr (VI) removal, and the adsorption process can be modelled and predicted efficiently using ANN.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis