Removal of Mercury (II) from Aqueous Solution by using Rice Residues


  • S. T. Song Advanced Materials and Process Engineering (AMPEN) Research Group, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • N. Saman Advanced Materials and Process Engineering (AMPEN) Research Group, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • K. Johari Advanced Materials and Process Engineering (AMPEN) Research Group, Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
  • H. B. Mat Novel Materials Research Group, Nanotechnology Research Alliance, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 UTM Skudai, Johor, Malaysia



Rice husk, rice straw, mercury ion, sorption


Sorption potential of rice residues for Hg(II) removal from aqueous solution was investigated. Rice husk (RH) and rice straw (RS) were selected and treated with sodium hydroxide (NaOH). The raw and modified adsorbents were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and BET surface area measurements. The effects of pH, initial ion concentration, and agitation time on the removal process were studied in batch adsorption experiments. Two simple kinetic models, which are pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order, were tested to investigate the adsorption mechanisms. The kinetic data fits to pseudo second order model with correlation coefficients greater than 0.99 for all adsorbents. The equilibrium data fitted well with the Langmuir compared to Freundlich isotherm models. Alkali-treated adsorbent obtained larger surface area and RH-NaOH showed highest adsorption capacity followed by RS-Pure > RH-Pure > RS-NaOH. The maximum removal efficiency obtained by RH-NaOH and RS-Pure was 42 mg/l (80%) at pH 6.5 and with 2 days contact time (for 50 mg/l initial concentration and 25 mg adsorbents).



Mohan, D., V. K. Gupta, S. K. Srivastava and S. Chander. 2000. Kinetics of Mercury Adsorption from Wastewater Using Activated Carbon Derived from Fertilizer Waste. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. 177(2–3): 169–181.

Wu, G., Z. Wang, J. Wang and C. He. 2007. Hierarchically Imprinted Organic-inorganic Hybrid Sorbent for Selective Separation of Mercury Ion from Aqueous Solution. Analytica Chimica Acta. 582: 304–310.

Anirudhan, T.S., L. Divya and M. Ramachandran. 2008. Mercury (II) Removal from Aqueous Solutions and Wastewaters Using a Novel Cation Exchanger Derived from Coconut Coir Pith and its Recovery. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 157: 620–627.

Bailey, S.E., T.J. Olin, R.M. Bricka and D.D. Adrian. 1998. A Review of Potentially Low-cost Sorbents for Heavy Metals. Water Research. 33(11): 2469–2479.

Asadi, F., H. Shariatmadari and N. Mirghaffari. 2008. Modification of Rice Hull and Sawdust Sorptive Characteristics for Remove Heavy Metals from Synthetic Solutions and Wastewater. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 154: 451–458.

Abdel-Ghani, N. T., M. Hefny and G. A. F. El-Chaghaby. 2007. Removal of Lead from Aqueous Solution Using Low Cost Abundantly Available Adsorbents. Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. 4: 67–73.

Abdel-Mohdy, F. A., E. S. Abdel-Halim, Y. M. Abu-Ayana and S. M. El-Sawy. 2009. Rice Straw as New Resource for Some Beneficial Uses. Carbohydrate Polymers. 75: 44–51.

Orlando, U. S., T. Okuda, A. U. Baes, W. Nishijima and M. Okada. 2003. Chemical Properties of Anion-Exchangers Prepared from Waste Natural Materials. Reactive and Functional Polymers. 55: 311–318.

Wan Ngah, W. S. and M. Hanafiah. 2008. Removal of Heavy Metal Ions from Wastewater by Chemically Modified Plant Wastes as Adsorbents: A Review. Bioresource Technology. 99(10): 3935–3948.

Armesto, L., A. Bahillo, K. Veijonen, A. Cabanillas and J. Otero. 2002. Combustion Behavior of Rice Husk in a Bubbling Fluidized Bed. Biomass and Bioenergy. 23: 171–179.

Types and Forms of Rice in Malaysia. Citing Internet sources URL

The Rice Market Monitor, Sept 2009. Volume XII - Issue No.3. Citing Internet sources URL

Kadam, K. L., L. H. Forrest and W. A. Jacobson. 2000. Rice Straw as a Lignocellulosic Resource: Collection, Processing, Transportation, and Environmental Aspect. Biomass and Bioenergy. 18(5): 369–389.

Cyril A. Shacklady, The Use of Organic Residues in Rural Communities. Citing Internet sources URL

Chakraborty, S., S. Chowdhury, and P. D. Saha. 2011. Adsorption of Crystal Violet from Aqueous Solution onto NaOH-modified Rice Husk. Carbohydrate Polymers. 86: 1533–1541.

Ndazi, B.S., S. Karlsson, J. V. Tesha, and C. W. Nyahumwa. 2007. Chemical and Physical Modifications of Rice Husks for Use as Composite Panels. Composites Part A. 38(3): 925–935.

Sreekala, M.S., M.G. Kumaran and S.Thomas. 1997. Oil Palm Fibers: Morphology, Chemical Composition, Surface Modification, and Mechanical Properties. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 66: 821–835.

Fourest, E. and B. Volesky. 1996. Contribution of Sulfonate Groups and Alginate to Heavy Metal Biosorption by the Dry Biomass of Sargasum Fluitans. Environmental Science and Technology. 30: 277–282

Abdel-Aal, S.E., Y.H. Gad and A.M. Dessouki. 2006. Use of Rice Straw and Radiation-modified Maize Starch/Acrylonitrile in the Treatment of Wastewater. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 129: 204–215.

Anirudhan, T.S. and M.R. Unnithan. 2007. Arsenic (V) Removal from Aqueous Solutions Using an Anion Exchanger Derived from Coconut Coir Pith and Its Recovery. Chemosphere. 66: 60–66.

Hameed, B. H., R. R. Krishni and S. A. Sata. 2009. A Novel Agricultural Waste Adsorbent for the Removal of Cationic Dye from Aqueous Solutions. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 162: 305–311.

Niu, K., P. Chen, X. Zhang and W-S. Tan. 2009. Enhanced Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Rice Straw Pretreated by Alkali Assisted with Photocatalysis Technology. Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology. 84(8): 1240–1245.

Thring, R. W., E. Chorne, J. Bouchard, P. F. Vidal and R. P. Overend. 1990. Characterization of Lignin Residues Derived from the Alkaline Hydrolysis of Glycol Lignin. Canadian Journal of Chemistry. 68: 82–89.

Igwe, J. C., D. N. Ogunewe and A. A. Abia. 2005. Competitive Adsorption of Zn (II), Cd (II) and Pb (II) Ions from Aqueous and Non-aqueous Solution by Maize Cob and Husk. African Journal of Biotechnology. 4(10): 1113–1116.

Kavitha, D. and C. Namasivayam. 2007. Recycling Coir Pith, an Agricultural Solid Waste, for the Removal of Procion Orange from Wastewater. Dyes and Pigments. 74: 237–248.

Rao, M. M., D. H. K. K. Reddy, P. Venkateswarlu and K. Seshaiah. 2009. Removal of Mercury from Aqueous Solutions Using Activated Carbon Prepared from Agricultural y-product/waste. Journal of Environmental Management. 90: 634–643.

Slejko, F. L. 2004. Adsorption Technology: A Step-by-Step Approach to Process Evaluation and Application. Marcel Dekker Inc., USA.

Kadirvelu, K., M. Kavipriya, C. Karthika, N. Vennilamani and S. Pattabhi. 2004. Mercury (II) Adsorption by Activated Carbon Made From Sago Waste. Carbon. 42: 745–752.

Tan, I. A. W., A. L. Ahmad and B. H. Hameed. 2008. Adsorption of Basic Dye on High-surface-area Activated Carbon Prepared from Coconut Husk: Equilibrium, Kinetic and Thermodynamic Studies. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 154: 337–346.

Anirudhan, T. S., L. Divya and P. S. Suchithra. 2009. Kinetic and Equilibrium Characterization of Uranium (VI) Adsorption onto Carboxylate-functionalized Poly(Hydroxyethylmethacrylate)-grafted Lignocellulosics. Journal of Environmental Management. 90: 549–560.

Hameed, B. H., I. A. W. Tan and A. L. Ahmad. 2008. Adsorption Isotherm, Kinetic Modeling and Mechanism of 2,4,6-Trichlorophenol on Coconut Husk-based Activated Carbon. Chemical Engineering Journal. 144: 235–244.

Zhang, F. S., J. O. Nriagu and H. Itoh. 2005. Mercury Removal from Water Using Activated Carbons Derived from Organic Sewage Sludge. Water Research. 39: 389–395.

Fytianos, K., E. Vpudrias and E. Kokkalis. 2000. Sorption-desorption Behavior of 2,4-Dicholorophenol by Marine Sediments. Chemosphere. 40: 3–6.

Augustine, A. A., B. D. Orike and A. D. Edidiong. 2007. Adsorption Kinetics and Modelling of Cu(II) Ions Sorption from Aqueous Solution by Mercaptoacetic Acid Modified Cassava (Manihot Sculenta Cranz) Wastes. Electronic Journal of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 6(4):2221–2234.

Igwe, J. C., A. A. Abia and C. A. Ibeh. 2008. Adsorpton Kinetics and Intraarticulate Diffusivities of Hg, as and Pb Ions on Unmodified and Thiolated Coconut Fiber. International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. 5(1): 83–92.

Jain, R. and M. Shrivastava. 2008. Adsorptive Studies of Hazardous Dye Tropaeoline 000 from an Aqueous Phase on to Coconut-husk. Journal of Hazardous Materials. 158: 549–556.




How to Cite

Song, S. T., Saman, N., Johari, K., & Mat, H. B. (2013). Removal of Mercury (II) from Aqueous Solution by using Rice Residues. Jurnal Teknologi, 63(1).



Science and Engineering