Application of tomato peel as an efficient adsorbent for water purification—alternative biotechnology?
Heavy metal ions and dissolved organic compounds in waste water are known to adversely affect human health, aquatic life and the overall ecosystem. Many hazardous pollutants need to be removed from drinking water; however, such technologies are not accessible for economically disadvantaged people around the world. Naturally abundant tomato peels or other biomembranes are used as an efficient biomaterial to remove toxic metal ions and organic pollutants from aqueous solution. The functional groups and morphologies of the tomato peels were characterized using FT-IR and FESEM, respectively. Factors such as pH, nature and amount of adsorbent used for extraction were studied to establish the optimum conditions. The maximum adsorption capacity was observed at different pH values for different pollutants. The equilibrium adsorption data were interpreted by using Freundlich and Langmuir isotherms and the adsorption mechanism was investigated by kinetic studies. Results showed that tomato peels have good potential as an efficient adsorbent to remove various pollutants from water.