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Issue 64, 2015
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Carbohydrate-based activated carbon with high surface acidity and basicity for nickel removal from synthetic wastewater

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Abstract

The feasibility of preparing activated carbon (AC-CHs) from carbohydrates (glucose, sucrose and starch) with phosphoric acid activation was evaluated by comparing its physicochemical properties and Ni(II) adsorption performance with a reference activated carbon (AC-PA) derived from Phragmites australis. The textural and chemical properties of the prepared activated carbon were characterized by N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms, SEM, Boehm's titration and XPS. Although AC-CHs had much lower surface area (less than 700 m2 g−1) than AC-PA (1057 m2 g−1), they exhibited 45–70% larger Ni(II) adsorption capacity which could be mainly attributed to their 50–75% higher contents of total acidic and basic groups. The comparison of XPS analyses for starch-based activated carbon before and after Ni(II) adsorption indicated that Ni(II) cation combined with the oxygen-containing groups and basic groups (delocalized π-electrons) through the mechanisms of proton exchange, electrostatic attraction, and surface complexation. Kinetic results suggested that chemical reaction was the main rate-controlling step, and a very quick Ni(II) adsorption performance of AC-CHs was presented with ∼95% of maximum adsorption within 30 min. Both adsorption capacity and rate of the activated carbon depended on the surface chemistry as revealed by batch adsorption experiments and XPS analyses. This study demonstrated that AC-CHs could be promising materials for Ni(II) pollution minimization.

Graphical abstract: Carbohydrate-based activated carbon with high surface acidity and basicity for nickel removal from synthetic wastewater

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 May 2015, accepted on 05 Jun 2015 and first published on 05 Jun 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5RA08987E
Author version available: Download Author version (PDF)
Citation: RSC Adv., 2015,5, 52048-52056
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    Carbohydrate-based activated carbon with high surface acidity and basicity for nickel removal from synthetic wastewater

    H. Liu, J. Zhang, H. H. Ngo, W. Guo, H. Wu, C. Cheng, Z. Guo and C. Zhang, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 52048
    DOI: 10.1039/C5RA08987E

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