• Vol 9, No 6 (2018)
  • Chemical Engineering

Adsorption of Lanthanide Ions from Aqueous Solution in Multicomponent Systems using Activated Carbon from Banana Peels (Musa paradisiaca L.)

Eny Kusrini, Diara D. Kinastiti, Lee Wilson, Anwar Usman, Arif Rahman

Cite this article as:
Kusrini, E., Kinastiti, D.D., Wilson, L., Usman, A., Rahman, A., 2018. Adsorption of Lanthanide Ions from Aqueous Solution in Multicomponent Systems using Activated Carbon from Banana Peels (Musa paradisiaca L.). International Journal of Technology. Volume 9(6), pp. 1132-1139
Eny Kusrini Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia., Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Diara D. Kinastiti Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universitas Indonesia., Kampus UI Depok, Depok 16424, Indonesia
Lee Wilson Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, 110 Science Place, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5C9
Anwar Usman Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Jalan Tungku Link, Gadong BE1410, Brunei Darussalam
Arif Rahman Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Universitas Negeri Jakarta, Rawamangun 13220, Indonesia
Email to Corresponding Author


Lanthanides in aqueous waste streams have received great attention due to their ability to pollute the environment. Therefore, efforts have been devoted to adsorbing lanthanides from waste industries. The evaluation of agro-waste by determining the adsorption efficiency of Ln3+ ions is an important step in developing a process for Ln3+ removal from water systems, as well as a method of isolating Ln3+ ions from mineral ores, such as low-grade bauxite. The adsorption performance of banana peels (Musa paradisiaca L.) was evaluated in the removal of Ln3+ ions. In addition, the adsorption of lanthanide ions from an aqueous solution in a multicomponent system was studied using activated carbon from banana peels. The selection of the best adsorbent was done by the iodine number method, where activated carbon had the highest iodine absorbance at 572.2 mg/g. The use of activated carbon as an adsorbent for the removal of commercial lanthanide ions from an aqueous solution was evaluated. The optimum condition in the Ln3+ multicomponent system for the adsorption of Y3+, La3+, Ce3+, Nd3+, and Sm3+ ions was determined to be a contact time of 2.5 h, a pH of 4, and an adsorbent dosage of 100 mg. The present research further supports the possibility of the adsorption of Ln3+ ions from low-grade bauxite with adsorption efficiencies of 67.6, 71.0, 65.0, 62.9, and 56.6% for Y3+, La3+, Ce3+, Nd3+, and Sm3+, respectively.


Activated carbon; Adsorption; Banana peels; Lanthanides; Low-grade bauxite; Multicomponent system


Lanthanides are critical materials for advanced and high technologies in many applications, particularly those in the energy, optic, electronic, chemical, automotive, defence (King et al., 2018), and nuclear power industries (Elsalamouny et al., 2017). The trivalent state of lanthanide is the most thermodynamically stable form in an aqueous solution (Elsalamouny et al., 2017). The separation of lanthanides utilizing different methods, including solvent extraction (Wang et al., 2017); plasma separation (Gueroult et al., 2018); hydrothermal (Josso et al., 2018), alkaline, and acid extraction (King et al., 2018); adsorption (Awual et al., 2013); and biosorption (Das & Das, 2013; Fomina & Gadd, 2014; Sadovsky et al., 2016; Elsalamouny et al., 2017) has been reported. In principle, precipitation and solvent extraction methods have technical limitations for treating a contaminated aqueous solution; for example, they require some pre-treatments involving physical and chemical processes. Currently, adsorption method using agricultural waste as an adsorbent for the removal of metal ions has been considered as an alternative and effective method of recovering the metal ions (Das & Das, 2013; Bhatnagar et al., 2015; Elsalamouny et al., 2017; Omo-Okoro et al., 2018;). On the other hand, adsorption method with biomaterials, such as microorganisms and biomass wastes, where adsorbates are bound by the active sites of the biomaterials have also attracted wide attention (Fomina & Gadd, 2014). Agricultural wastes, such as peels from citrus, bananas, cassavas, jackfruits, pomegranates, and garlic, have been explored as an adsorbent, and they offers advantages which surpass commercially available activated carbon via its large surface area, high adsorption capacity, high reactivity, and low cost (Omo-Okoro et al., 2018; Bhatnagar et al., 2015).

Banana peels are an example of fruit wastes that may be practically used as an adsorbent, as its adsorption capacity has been investigated in the separation of Cu2+, Co2+, Ni2+, Zn2+, and Pb2+ (Annadurai et al., 2013); strontium (II) (Mahindrakar & Rathod, 2018); and palm oil mill effluent (POME) (Mohammed & Chong, 2014). Considering the capacity of banana peel as adsorbents for metal separation, this biomass has the potential to separate lanthanides from bauxite tailing waste. In this study, banana peels (Musa paradisiaca L.) was selected as an adsorbent, as it consists of organic carbons, such as pectin (10–21%), lignins (6–12 %), cellulose (7.6–9.6 %), and hemi-cellulose (6.4–9.4 %) on a dry basis (w/w) (Mohapatra et al., 2010). The rare metal ions of Y, La, Ce, Nd, and Sm were selected as the model of multicomponent lanthanides with trivalent state in an aqueous solution. The recovery of these metal species from non-conventional resources, such as low-grade bauxite, is a strategic target to extract lanthanide ions. The increase in the demand for lanthanides on the international market and limited resources for their production highlights the importance of the recovery of these rare earth metal elements in this study.


In this study, activated carbon derived from banana peels was synthesized and evaluated as an adsorbent for the removal of lanthanide ions. BET and iodine number were used to determine its characteristics. The recovery of lanthanide ions from low-grade bauxite was studied at a time of 2.5 h, a pH of 4, and a fixed dosage of 100 mg of the activated carbon adsorbent. The recovery (%) of lanthanide ions from low-grade bauxite is given as follows: Y (67.60), La (71.00), Ce (65.0), Nd (62.93), and Sm (56.59).


This research was financially supported by Universitas Indonesia through the grant PITTA No. 2430/UN2.R3.1/HKP.05.00/2018.


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