Agricultural wastes can be used as an alternative to the existing sorbents for the removal of metals or synthetic dyes from contaminated liquids. In this work, the fine powdered biomass of the hop (Humulus lupulus L.) variety Osvald's clone 72 and variety Bohemie as a sorbent for the removal of Cd from aqueous solutions of CdCl2 spiked with radionuclide 109Cd and synthetic dyes thioflavine T (ThT) or methylene blue (MB) from single dye solutions under conditions of batch systems was used. The maximum sorption capacity Q = 264 µmol Cd/g (d.w.) was found in the case of the leaf biomass of hop (H. lupulus L.) variety Osvald's clone 72 at the initial concentration of CdCl2 10,000 µmol/dm3, whereby the sorption capacity decreased in the order Qleaves : Qstems : Qroots = 1.0 : 0.8 : 0.7. The sorbed amount of Cd was removed from the hop biomass with the following increasing desorption efficiency of the extraction reagents: deionised H2O << 0.1 mol/dm3 HCl ≤ 0.1 mol/dm3 EDTA-Na2. Similarly as in the case of Cd sorption, the kinetics of ThT and MB sorption by the leaf biomass of the hop (H. lupulus L.) variety Bohemie were also showed as two-phase processes. The maximum sorption of ThT approx. Q = 19 mg/g (d.w.) and MB approx. Q = 70 mg/g (d.w.) were found within the range of the initial values of pH 4 – 7. The sorption of both dyes by the leaf biomass from single dye solutions decreased with increasing biomass concentration and on the other hand increased with increasing the initial concentrations of ThT or MB. The process of ThT and MB sorption was better described by the Langmuir model than the Freundlich model of sorption isotherm. From the obtained values of Qmax, it was found that in the case of MB the dried leaf biomass showed more than 2-times higher sorption capacity (Qmax = 184 mg/g; d.w.) in comparison with the value predicted for ThT. Obtained results suggest that dried plant biomass of hop (H. lupulus L.) as agricultural by-products can be used as a potential sorbent for both types of studied contaminants.
A hydroponic study involving lettuce plants (Lactuca sativa L.) as a leafy vegetable was conducted to evaluate the 137Cs uptake and translocation in plant tissues in dependence on the presence or absence of K+ or/and NH4+ ions in cultivation media according to Hoagland (HM) during 8 d plants growth under hydroponic conditions. Significant increase of the 137Cs+ uptake by lettuce plants and the decrease of 137Cs+ translocation efficiency from roots to leaves were observed in 50 % HM deficient in K+ and NH4+ ions. Speciation analysis using Visual MINTEQ program showed that at micromolar concentration of CsCl (5 μmol/dm3) in 50 % HM at pH 6.0 and 25 °C, cesium was occurred practically only in the free cationic Cs+ form − 98.8 %, with minor proportions of other cesium species: CsCl − 0.4 %, CsNO3 − 0.4 %, and CsSO4 - − 0.4 %. Surplus of Cl-, NO3- and SO42- ions in HM causes the increase of proportions of the cesium species CsCl, CsNO3 and CsSO4-, respectively at the expense of bioavailable Cs+ form. Radiocesium 137Cs taken up via roots was removed from lettuce leaves with high efficiency by boiling in diluted NaCl solution. At ambient temperature the extraction of 137Cs with diluted acetic acid was concentration and time dependent process, and was succeeded by leakage of tissue components absorbing at 260 nm. These findings are important for the risk assessment of radiocesium entry into the food chain via contaminated leafy vegetable.