This research was conducted to study the adsorption of ammonium ions onto pumice as a natural and low-cost adsorbent. The physico-chemical properties of the pumice granular were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Modeling and optimization of a NH4+ sorption process was accomplished by varying four independent parameters (pumice dosage, initial ammonium ion concentration, mixing rate and contact time) using a central composite design (CCD) under response surface methodology (RSM). The optimum conditions for maximum removal of NH4+ (70.3%) were found to be 100 g, 20 mg/l, 300 rpm and 180 min, for pumice dosage, initial NH4+ ion concentration, mixing rate and contact time. It was found that the NH4+ adsorption on the pumice granular was dependent on adsorbent dosage and initial ammonium ion concentration. NH4+ was increased due to decrease the initial concentration of NH4 and increase the contact time, mixing rate and amount of adsorbent.
The decolourization of Turquoise Blue HFG by immobilized cells of Lysinibacillus fusiformis B26 was investigated. Cells of L. fusiformis B26 were immobilized by entrapment in agar and calcium alginate matrices and attached in pumice particles. The effects of operational conditions (e.g., agar concentrations, cell concentrations, temperature, and inoculum amount) on microbial decolourization by immobilized cells were investigated. The results revealed that alginate was proven to be the best as exhibiting maximum decolourization (69.62%), followed by agar (55.55%) at 40°C. Pumice particles were the poorest. Optimum conditions for agar matrix were found: concentration was 3%, cell amount was 0.5 g and temperature was 40°C (55.55%). Ca-alginate beads were loaded with 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 g of wet cell pellets and the highest colour removal activity was observed with 2.0 g of cell pellet at 40°C for alginate beads. Also, 0.5 and 1.0 g of pumice particles that were loaded with 0.25 and 0.5 g of cell pellets respectively were used and the results were found very similar to each other.