Bioadsorbents of heavy metals from coal mines area in Mozambique

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mozambique is one of the largest coal exporters in Africa. Usually mining
activities generate polluted water that is discharged into the Zambezi river basin in the Moatize area without treatment, increasing the risk both to the local environment and to public health because of this water containing significant amounts of metals and metalloids. At the same time, Mozambique is one of the largest producers of cassava peels, most of which are wasted. The aim of the present investigation was to study the use of discarded cassava peels to treat the polluted mine water from Moatize by means of adsorption. The effects both of the pH and of the contact time between the adsorbent, the adsorbate and the adsorption isotherms were examined.

For calcium, magnesium, cobalt, mercury and manganese, an equilibrium was
attained in less than 50 min, the removal efficiency of calcium, magnesium, and mercury being greater under alkaline conditions and being greatest for cobalt at pH 4 and for manganese at pH 7.5. The correlation coefficients of the experimental data were very high for the calcium, magnesium and manganese metals as compared with the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms. For the Langmuir isotherms, it was found that the adsorption of calcium, magnesium, cobalt, mercury, and manganese by the cassava peels was favorable for adsorption generally, whereas for the Freundlich isotherms it was only manganese that was found to be not favorable for adsorption.


External organisations
  • Eduardo Mondlane University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Water Engineering


  • mine water, coal mines, low-cost adsorbents, cassava peels, adsorption
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalCogent Environmental Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 17
Publication categoryResearch