Selected pharmaceuticals removal using algae derived porous carbon: experimental, modeling and DFT theoretical insights†
Porous carbon from Laminaria digitata algae activated using NaOH (PCLD@NaOH) was prepared by a chemical activation approach and has been tested for the adsorption of ketoprofen and aspirin molecules. The prepared PCLD@NaOH was characterized using XPS, FTIR, Raman, N2-physisorption, SEM, acidic/basic character (Boehm), and pHPZC. The batch adsorption of ketoprofen and aspirin was investigated under different parameters. The adsorption kinetics on PCLD@NaOH were well described by the Avrami-fractional kinetic model and the equilibrium data by Liu isotherm model. The adsorption capacity of aspirin (970.88 mg g−1 at 25 °C) was higher than ketoprofen (443.45 mg g−1 at 25 °C). The thermodynamic values indicate that the adsorption of ketoprofen and aspirin is exothermic and spontaneous. These results were in good agreement with DFT calculation that shows that the aspirin molecule presents high reactivity, electrophilicity, and softness compared to the ketoprofen molecule. Finally, the response surface methodology was used to optimize the removal efficiency of ketoprofen and aspirin.