Adsorption of aqueous Cd(II) and Pb(II) on activated carbon nanopores prepared by chemical activation of doum palm shell.

PMID 26339560


Non-uniformly sized activated carbons were derived from doum palm shell, a new precursor, by carbonization in air and activation using KOH, NaOH and ZnCl2. The activated carbon fibres were characterised by X-ray diffraction, N2 adsorption-desorption, scanning electron microscopy, particle size analysis and evaluated for Cd(II) and Pb(II) removal. The 40-50 nm size, less graphitic, mesoporous NaOH activated carbon yielded high adsorption efficiency, pointing largely to the influence surface area. The performance of the KOH based activated carbon was arguably explained for the first time in terms of crystallinity. The efficiencies of the mesoporous ZnCl2-formulated activated carbon diminished due to the presence of larger particles. Batch adsorption of divalent metals revealed dependence on adsorbent dose, agitation time, pH and adsorbate concentrations with high adsorption efficiencies at optimum operating parameters. The equilibrium profiles fitted Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms, and kinetics favoured pseudo-second order model. The study demonstrated the practicability of the removal of alarming levels of cadmium and lead ions from industrial effluents.