As natural fibers, low-cost biosorbents have proven to be an effective and clean tool to remove textile dyes from wastewater. In this research, the Reactive Black 5 removal ability of original and enzyme-modified natural fibers were assessed. A fiber extracted from a Colombian fique plant (Furcraea sp.) was employed. The effects of fique fiber protonation with different solvents and dye solution pH on RB5 removal were evaluated. The biosorbent chemical composition was modified using the commercial enzymes pectinase, ligninase, and xylanase. The point of zero charge (PZC) of the original and modified material was measured, and the dye removal capacity of the three enzyme-modified fibers was determined. Fiber protonation with 0.1 M HCl and a dye solution with pH of 2.4 increased the RB5 elimination to 49.1%. The change in the fiber chemical composition led to a reduction in the PZC from 5.5 to a 4.7–4.9 range. Pectinase-pretreated fique fibers presented the highest dye removal of 66.29%, representing a 36% increase in RB5 dye removal. Although the original fique fiber showed RB5 dye removal ability, its enzymatic modification changed the charge distribution on the fiber surface, improving the capture of dye molecules. Enzyme modification can be applied to obtain new functionalities for plant fibers as biosorbent materials.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia (MINCIENCIAS), Becas Doctorados Nacionales, grant number 617-2013.
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- dye removal
- lignocellulolytic enzymes
- plant fiber
- point of zero charge
- textile dyes