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The presence of chromium in high concentrations in industrial effluents is of major concern, being extremely toxic and non-biodegradable, thus persistent and harmful to the ecosystem. Using microorganisms for adsorption of heavy metals has emerged as a potential alternative over the conventional methods and is gaining significance due to its incontestable merits. Since fungi amass metals more than their nutritional requirement, the present study in investigation of efficiency of Aspergillus awamori NRRL 3112 biomass for sorption of chromium by means of development of an immobilised whole cell system is significant. The effect of operational parameters like initial chromium concentration, time, temperature and pH on chromium removal was studied and the efficient conditions for the process were established. Kinetics studies revealed that, the pseudo second order model was found to best represent the process with higher R2 values than others. The Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms were applied and the Langmuir isotherm was found to be the best fit. It was also established by means of thermodynamic analysis that the biosorption occurred chemically and the process was more feasible, spontaneous and efficient at lower temperatures.
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