Bioremediation of Heavy Metal Lead from Contaminated Water with the Leaves of Edible, Medicinal Herb Alternanthera sessilis – Kinetic and Thermodynamic Studies

IJEP 42(1): 3-14 : Vol. 42 Issue. 1 (January 2022)

Sobha Kota1*, Swathi Kiran Mandava1, Vijaya Lakshmi Kambala1, Naveena Sanagapalli1, Yadagiri Premsai1, Sai Vivek Kota2 and Ratna Kumari Anantha3

1. RVR and JC College of Engineering, Department of Biotechnology, Chowdavaram, Guntur – 522 019, Andhra Pradesh, India
2. Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology, Department of Civil Engineering, Namburu – 522 508, Andhra Pradesh, India
3. Acharya nagarjuna University, Centre for Biotechnology, Guntur – 522 010, Andhra Pradesh, India


Powdered leaves of Alternanthera sessilis used for the adsorption studies of lead with contact time, pH, initial metal ion concentration, adsorbent dosage and temperature as influencing parameters, revealed a very rapid uptake of metal during the first 30 min and the best fit kinetic and isotherm models were pseudo second order and Langmuir, respectively. The optimum contact time, initial pH and adsorbent dosage were 120 min, 5.0 and 1 g/L, respectively with the maximum uptake capacity for lead as 32.25 mg/g. Thermodynamic studies revealed the spontaneous and endothermic nature of adsorption. Optimization of parameters was attempted with response surface methodology and differential evolutionary algorithms. The adsorbent characterization, before and after adsorption, by SEM-EDS, FTIR and XRD suggests the adsorption of lead ions through chemisorption, ion-exchange and complexation. The results reveal the potential of Alternanthera sessilis as an adsorbent for the removal of lead from contaminated water.


Contaminated water, Lead, Health hazard, Alternan-thera sessilis, Medicinal herb


  1. Bergeson, L. L. 2008. The proposed lead NAAQS: Is consideration of cost in the clean air act‘s future? Env. Quality Manage., 18: 79-84.
  2. Nazir, R., et al. 2015. Accumulation of heavy metals (Ni, Cu, Cd, Cr, Pb, Zn, Fe) in the soil, water and plants and analysis of physico-chemical parameters of soil and water collected from Tanda dam Kohat. J. Pharm. Sci. Res., 7(3): 89-97.
  3. WHO. 2008. Guidelines for drinking water quality, (vol.1, 3rd edn) incorporating 1st and 2nd addenda. World Health Organization, Geneva.
  4. WHO. 1984. Guidelines for drinking water quality (vol. 1 and 2). World Helath Organization, Geneva.
  5. Ray, S.S., et al. 2014. Analysis the effect of heavy and toxic metals in various vegetables grown in Vellore district (South India). Int. J. Chem. Tech. Res., 6(8): 3996-4001.
  6. Jameel, A.A., J. Sirajudeen and R.A. Vahith. 2012. Studies on heavy metal pollution of groundwater sources between Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, India. Adv. Appl. Sci. Res., 3(1): 424-429.
  7. Purushotham, D., et al. 2012. Deciphering heavy metal contamination zones in soils of a granitic terrain of southern India using factor analysis and GIS. J. Earth Syst. Sci., 121(4): 1059-1070.
  8. Karri, S.K., R.B. Saper and S.N. Kales. 2008. Lead encephalopathy due to traditional medicines. Curr. Drug. Saf., 3(1): 54-59.
  9. Lv, C., et al. 2015. Dysplastic changes in erythroid precursors as a manifestation of lead poisoning: Report of a case and review of literature. Int. J. Clin. Exp. Pathol., 8(1): 818-823.
  10. Meena, A.K., et al. 2008. Adsorptive removal of heavy metals from aqueous solution by treated sawdust (Acacia arabica). J. Hazard. Mater., 150 (3): 604-611.
  11. Fu, F. and Q. Wang. 2010. Removal of heavy metal ions from wastewaters: A review. J. Env. Manage., 92(3): 407-418.
  12. Ekere, N.R., A.B. Aqwoqie and J.N. Ihedioha. 2016. Studies of biosorption of Pb2+, Cd2+and Cu2+from aqueous solution using Adansonia digitata root powders. Int. J. Phytoremed., 18(2): 116-125. 
  13. Li, Q., et al. 2016. Adsorption of heavy metal from aqueous solution by dehydrated root powder of long-root Eichornia crassipes. Int. J. Phytoremed., 18(2): 103-109.
  14. Amer, M.W., R.A. Ahmad and A.M. Awwad. 2015. Biosorption of Cu(II), Ni(II), Zn(II) and Pb(II) ions from aqueous solution by Sophora japonica pods powder. Int. J. Ind. Chem., 6(1): 67-75.
  15. Raju, C.A.I., et al. 2012. Biosorption performance of Albezia lebbeck pods powder for the removal of lead: Application of statistical method. Int. J. Modern Eng. Res., 2(3): 1297-1305.
  16. Pehlivan, E., et al. 2009. Lead sorption by waste biomass of hazelnut and almond shell. J. Hazard. Mater., 167(1-3): 1203-1208.
  17. Imamoglu, M., A. Vural and H. Altundag. 2014. Evaluation of adsorptive performance of dehydrated hazelnut husks carbon for Pb(II) and Mn(II) ions. Desalin. Water Treat., 52(37-39): 7241-7247.
  18. Basu, M., A.K. Guha and L. Ray. 2015. Biosorptive removal of lead by lentil husk. J. Env. Chem. Eng., 3(2): 1088-1095.
  19. Anaya, E.P., et al. 2017. Pb(II) removal process in a packed column system with xanthation-modified deoiled allspice husk. J. Chem. DOI: 10.1155/2017/4296515.
  20. Farhan, A. M., A.H. Al-Dujaili and A.M. Awwad. 2013. Equilibrium and kinetic studies of cadmium(II) and lead(II) ions biosorption onto Ficus carcia leaves. Int J. Ind. Chem., 4(1):1-8.
  21. Egga, E.S., et al. 2016. Kinetics and equilibrium adsorption study of lead onto Strychnos spinosa leaves. American Eurasian J. Agric. Env. Sci., 16(7): 1321-1326.
  22. Largitte, L., et al. 2012. Influence of the surface properties of the Bois Carré seeds activated carbon for the removal of lead from aqueous solutions. Eurasian Chemico. Tech. J., 14(3): 201-210.
  23. Davoud, B., K.M. Ferdos and A. Hossein. 2016. Adsorption isotherm studies of Pb(II) ions from aqueous solutions by maize stalks as a cheap biosorbent. J. Sci. Eng. Res., 3(4): 85-91.
  24. Okoli, C.P., et al. 2017. Competitive biosorption of Pb(II) and Cd(II) ions from aqueous solutions using chemically modified moss biomass (Barbula lambarenensis). Env. Earth Sci., 76(33).
  25. Thillainatarajan, S. and M. Thenkulazhi. 2016. Separation of lead(II) ions from aqueous solutions by adsorption on kaoline. J. Chem. Pharma. Res., 8(2): 413-420.
  26. Putra, W.P., et al. 2014. Biosorption of Cu(II), Pb(II) and Zn(II) ions from aqueous solutions using selected waste materials: Adsorption and characterization studies. J. Encapsulation Adsorpt. Sci., 4(1): 25-35.
  27. Kanyal, M. and A.A. Bhatt. 2015. Removal of heavy metals from water (Cu and Pb) using household waste as an adsorbent. J. Biorem. Biodegrad., 6(1): 269.
  28. Largitte, I. and P. Lodewyckx. 2015. Modeling the influence of the operating conditions upon the sorption rate and the yield in the adsorption of lead(II). Microporous Mesoporous Mater., 202: 147-154.
  29. Khoiriah, F.F., Z. Rahmiana and M. Edison. 2015. Biosorption of Pb(II) and Zn(II) from aqueous solution using langsat (Lansium domesticum corr) fruit peel. J. Chem. Pharm. Res., 7(1): 546-555.
  30. Khokhar, A., Z. Siddique and N. Misbah. 2015. Removal of heavy metal ions by chemically treated Melia azedarach L. leaves. J. Env. Chem. Eng., 3(2): 944-952.
  31. Deng, H., Z.H. Ye and M.H. Wong. 2006. Lead and zinc accumulation and tolerance in populations of six wetland plants. Env. Poll., 141: 69-80.
  32. Lathan, N., et al. 2013. Comparative study of lead removal by extracts of spinach, coffee and tea. J. Env. Prot., 4(3): 250-257.
  33. Yang, Y., et al. 2014. Biochar from Alternanthera philoxeroides could remove Pb(II) efficiently. Biores. Tech., 171: 227-232.
  34. Wang, H., et al. 2015. Removal of Pb(II), Cu(II), and Cd(II) from aqueous solutions by biochar derived from KMnO4treated Hickory wood. Biores. Tech., 197: 356-362.
  35. Park, J.H., et al. 2016. Competitive adsorption of heavy metals onto sesame straw biochar in aqueous solutions. Chemosphere. 142: 77-83.
  36. Grubben, G.J.H. and O.A. Denton. 2004. Plant resources of tropical Africa (vol 2, Vegetables). PROTA Foundation, Wageningen, Netherlands/Backhuys Publishers. pp 265-276.
  37. Yoshitaka, T. and V.K. Nguyen. 2007. Edible wild plants of Vietnam: The bountiful garden. Thailand: Orchid Press. pp 21.
  38. Sobha, K., et al. 2017. An investigation into phytochemical constituents, antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-cataract activity of Alternanthera sessilis, a predominant wild leafy vegetable of South India. Biocatal. Agric. Biotech., 10: 197-203.
  39. Ratna, K.A. and K. Sobha. 2018. Bio-composites for the sorption of copper from aqueous solution: A comparative study. Groundwater Sustain. Develop., 7: 265-276.
  40. Lodeiro, P., et al. 2006. The marine macroalga Cystoseira baccata as biosorbent for cadmium and lead (II) removal: Kinetic and equilibrium studies. Env. Poll., 142: 264-273.
  41. Ali, I.H. and H.A. Alrafai. 2016. Kinetic, isotherm and thermodynamic studies on biosorption of chromium(VI) by using activated carbon from leaves of Ficus nitida. Chem. Central J., 10(36).
  42. Azizian, S., S. Eris and L.D. Wilson. 2018. Re-evaluation of the century-old Langmuir isotherm for modelling adsorption phenomena in solution. Chem. Physics. 513: 99-104.
  43. Lide, D.R. 2007. CRC handbook of chemistry and physics (88th edn). CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton. pp 4-70.
  44. Egwuatu, C.I., et al. Chicken feather as sequestrant for lead ions in aqueous solution. Int. J. Mod. Anal. Sep. Sci., 3(1): 51-66.
  45. Lavecchia, R., et al. 2016. Lead removal from water by adsorption on spent coffee grounds. Chem. Eng. Transactions. 47: 295-300.