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The introduction of heavy metal wastes in the environment has posed health risks to both human and animals due to their toxicity. Since then, different studies have been explored for the possibility of utilizing new, low–cost, and sustainable adsorbent materials to get rid of heavy metals in the wastewater streams and aqueous solutions. This present study aimed to investigate and compare the adsorption ability of powdered calamansi (Citrofortunella microcarpa) fruit peels (PCFP) for the elimination of both Al(III) and Cu(II) ions in single (non–competitive) and binary (competitive) aqueous systems by batch adsorption techniques. Scanning electron microscopic and spectroscopic techniques were used to characterize the surface morphologies for the biosorbent and quantify the removal rates of heavy metal, respectively. Models were then used to describe in detail about the adsorption kinetics and isotherms for both single and binary metal systems. The influence and dependency of different experimental conditions on adsorption performance were also analyzed. The PCFP derived biosorbent was successful in removal of both Al(III) and Cu(II) ions in single (non–competitive) and binary (competitive) aqueous systems with 99, 70, and 91% adsorption rates, respectively. The biosorption process follows the Ho’s pseudo–second order kinetics. Furthermore, the Langmuir isotherm model was found helpful in explaining the adsorption mechanism. The dominating electrostatic interaction between adsorbents and adsorbates demonstrates monolayer adsorption at the binding sites on the surface of the peeling. Finally, the findings of this study will contribute to a better understanding of the adsorption process, as well as future system design applications in the treatment of heavy metal containing waste effluents.
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