Characterization of trace level Au(III) binding to alfalfa biomass (Medicago sativa) by GFAAS

JL Gardea-Torresdey, KJ Tiemann, JG Parsons, Gerardo Gamez Goytia, MJ Yacaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Existing technologies for the extraction and recovery of gold include cyanidation which uses toxic cyanide. Because of the potential health threat created by many of these processes, an increasing need to develop new safer technologies to extract and recover gold from aqueous solution has arisen. Previous experiments have shown that gold(III) is adsorbed by alfalfa biomass at high concentrations in an almost pH-independent mariner. However, little data exist for the bio-adsorption of trace levels of gold(III) by alfalfa biomass. Batch laboratory pH profile experiments were performed at trace levels with native alfalfa biomass using a 100 ppb gold(III) aqueous solution. The observed trend in the binding by the alfalfa biomass was highest at pH 2-3 (approximate to97%) and decreased to approximately 50% at pH 4.0 and 5.0. To explore the effects of hard cations on the trace level gold(III) binding, calcium, magnesium, and sodium cations were added to the gold(III) solutions and binding ex
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-323
JournalAdvances in Environmental Research
StatePublished - Sep 2002


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