By Peak Johnson

The need for cheaper alternatives to remove heavy metal ions from water has led to a biological method utilizing the perennialJatropha curcas plant. The treatment method known as “biosorption” appears to act commonly to other commercial adsorbents.

Methods for removing heavy metals from water with advanced technology can be effective yet has proven to be too costly in developing countries, writes Professor Gustavo Ferreira Coelho for Science Daily.

In India for example, The Daily Pioneer reported that chemical fertilizers have caused increased alkalinity and hardening of soil. Several fertilizers contain metals such as arsenic, aluminum, copper, iron, and zinc, which have been linked to water pollution and ill-fated side effects such as kidney failure, hypertension, and skin diseases.

Coelho added that the production of Jatropha curcas biosorbents is cheaper than other commercial alternatives.

Coelho and his team tested three different adsorbents obtained from the plant’s seeds, according to Science Daily. They checked the influence of different conditions on the adsorption of copper and zinc ions on these adsorbents and were able to figure out conditions that determined the top parameters for adsorption.