Mesoporous ZSM-5 (MFI) zeolite was synthesized by using bacterial cellulose-derived activated carbon (BC-AC500) with a high surface area as a hard template. Different ratios of BC-AC500 and zeolite precursor gel were prepared in a Teflon-lined autoclave and crystallized at 180 °C for 48 h in a rotating oven. The physicochemical properties of the samples were characterized by x-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning/transmission electron microscopies (SEM/TEM), and N2 physisorption techniques. It was found that the mesoporous ZSM-5 zeolites have a specific surface area of 184-190 m2/g, a high mesopore volume of 0.120-0.956 ml/g and a wide pore size distribution ranging from 5 to 100 nm with a maximum at approximately 25.3 nm. The successfully made mesoporous ZSM-5 was tested as an adsorbent for formaldehyde adsorption in batch mode. The mesoporous ZSM-5 zeolite made from bacterial cellulose-derived activated carbon showed significantly faster adsorption kinetics than conventional ZSM-5 (0.0081 vs. 0.0007 g/mg min, respectively). The prepared material has an adsorption capacity of 98 mg/g and is highly reusable. The reported mesoporous ZSM-5 zeolites can be deployed for the rapid removal of toxic organics from wastewater when urgently needed, e.g., under breakthrough conditions.
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