Biosorption of neodymium on Chlorella vulgaris in aqueous solution obtained from hard disk drive magnets

Kucuker M. A., WIECZOREK N., KUCHTA K., Copty N. K.

PLOS ONE, vol.12, no.4, 2017 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175255
  • Journal Name: PLOS ONE
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: No


In recent years, biosorption is being considered as an environmental friendly technology for the recovery of rare earth metals (REE). This study investigates the optimal conditions for the biosorption of neodymium (Nd) from an aqueous solution derived from hard drive disk magnets using green microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris). The parameters considered include solution pH, temperature and biosorbent dosage. Best-fit equilibrium as well as kinetic biosorption models were also developed. At the optimal pH of 5, the maximum experimental Nd uptakes at 21, 35 and 50 degrees C and an initial Nd concentration of 250 mg/L were 126.13, 157.40 and 77.10 mg/g, respectively. Analysis of the optimal equilibrium sorption data showed that the data fitted well (R-2 = 0.98) to the Langmuir isotherm model, with maximum monolayer coverage capacity (q(max)) of 188.68 mg/g, and Langmuir isotherm constant (K-L) of 0.029 L/mg. The corresponding separation factor (R-L) is 0.12 indicating that the equilibrium sorption was favorable. The sorption kinetics of Nd ion follows well a pseudo-second order model (R-2 > 0.99), even at low initial concentrations. These results show that Chlorella vulgaris has greater biosorption affinity for Nd than activated carbon and other algae types such as: A. Gracilis, Sargassum sp. and A. Densus.