Azo-dyes, molecules characterised by the presence of the azo-group (–N‚N–), are widely used in textile, leather, rubber, plastic, and food industries. Water-soluble azo-dyes are greatly resistant to biodegradation, and are characterised by a high thermal and photo stability due to their complex structures. The release of these molecules into the environment is of crucial concern due to their toxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic characteristics. Biosorption has been demonstrated an effective method to remove pollutants from wastewaters thus solving ecological tasks, being a low cost process and the sorbent biodegradable. The main requirements of an efficient sorbent are thermal, chemical and mechanical stability, and rapid sorption. In this work, the ability of both row cork and the same sorbent entrapped in a biopolymeric gel of calcium alginate, on the removal of chrysoidine from aqueous solutions was examined. The influence on the sorption of pH, initial dye concentration, and particle size, as well as the efficiency of the entrapment, have been investigated. The maximum sorption was found for cork samples of fine particle size (FC), in both row and entrapped forms, at pH 7; conversely, at pH 4 the difference is significant (0.12 mmol/g for row cork and 0.20 mmol/g for entrapped cork), evoking a cooperation of alginate in binding the positively charged chrysoidine molecule.
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