Use of bone char prepared from an invasive species, pleco fish (Pterygoplichthys spp.), to remove fluoride and Cadmium(II) in water

J Environ Manage. 2020 Feb 15;256:109956. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.109956. Epub 2019 Dec 7.


In this study, bone char (BC) from pleco fish (Pterygoplichthys spp.) was synthesized, and their textural and physicochemical properties, as well as its adsorption capacity towards fluoride and Cd(II) from single and binary aqueous solutions, were determined. The results showed that the properties of the BCs were independent of the type of bone used and the surface areas were close to 110 m2 g-1. The effect of solution pH revealed that the adsorption capacity of BC towards fluoride from water raised by decreasing the solution pH. This trend was attributed to the electrostatic interaction between the positively charged surface and the fluoride in aqueous solution. On the contrary, the capacity of BC for adsorbing Cd(II) was enhanced by increasing the solution pH, indicating that electrostatic interactions were also essential but with a contrary effect in comparison with fluoride adsorption due to the negatively charged surface at pH above the point zero charge (pHPZC = 8.16). The experimental data for binary adsorption of fluoride and Cd(II) were interpreted satisfactorily using the modified Freundlich multicomponent isotherm (EFMI), and the experimental data revealed that Cd(II) have an antagonistic effect on the adsorption of fluoride, whereas the presence of fluoride does not affect the capacity of BC for adsorbing Cd(II). Thermogravimetric, XRD diffraction and IR spectroscopy analysis corroborated that the adsorption of fluoride in BC is due to electrostatic attractions, ion exchange or chemisorption and physisorption. Besides, the removal of Cd(II) occurs by physical adsorption and ion exchange. It was concluded that BC is an alternative material for the removal of fluoride and Cd(II) from aqueous solutions, and it is a possible application for using the bones of this invasive fish species.

Keywords: Adsorption; Binary adsorption; Bone char; Cadmium (II); Fluoride; Pleco fish.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Animals
  • Cadmium
  • Fluorides
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Introduced Species
  • Kinetics
  • Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical*
  • Water Purification*


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Cadmium
  • Water
  • Fluorides