Extraction of Lead Using Natural Products
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Lead removal from water sources is important because of its toxicity to the human body. Although lead removal processes already exist, many of these require harmful reagents for the environment, therefore finding a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method is necessary. A technique was developed based on previous studies that agitates the various natural products within the contaminated solution. The natural products studied include red, white, and yellow popcorn kernels, white chickpeas, black beans, adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, soybeans, peanut shells, pumpkin seeds, and cornhusks. The peanut shells, pumpkin seeds and cornhusks were the most successful in lead removal, which resulted in 800 ± 500 ppb (n=3), 2000 ± 600 ppb (n=3), and 2000 ± 1000 ppb (n=3) of lead remaining, respectively, in the solution. Increasing the amount of natural product proved to increase the amount of lead removed to below the LOQ. The effect of various pH levels as well as two different agitation methods on the amount of lead removed by the peanut shells, pumpkin seeds, and cornhusks were also studied.