Surface Modification of Olive Stone-based Activated Carbon for Nickel Ion removal from synthetic wastewater

M. Termoul, B. Bestani, N. Benderdouche, M.A. Chemrak, S. Attouti


Abstract: The aim of this work is to investigate nickel ion removal from its aqueous solutions by an olive stone-based activated carbon. Activated carbon surface properties modification was carried out nitric acid (4 N) as an agent for Ni(II) adsorption capacity improvement. The originally prepared and modified activated carbons were characterized by FT-IR spectrometry, X-ray diffractometry, Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS), N2/77 K BET analysis, pHPZC and iodine number determination. Nickel ion adsorption capacity was enhanced by 3.6 times while the specific surface area increased by 24% due to chemical treatment. The effect of relevant parameters on Ni(II) uptake such as contact time, adsorbent dose, pH, kinetics was also examined. An activated carbon dose of 4 g.L-1and a contact time of 120 min and respective corresponding values of 8 g/L and 180 min for the treated and untreated activated carbons were required to reach equilibrium for a 100 mg.L-1initial solution concentration. The highest adsorption performance was achieved by the acid-modified activated carbon samples in the pH range of 5.5-6.5. Experimental data was correlated by non-linear Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption models. Langmuir isotherm provides a slightly better fit to the experimental data indicating homogeneous distribution of adsorbents active sites with monolayer adsorption. Three methods of error analysis of residual root mean square error (RMSE), chi-square error (χ2) and average percentage error (APE) were used for best fit-isotherm and kinetic models identification. Langmuir is more representative with high (R2) low RMSE and good χ². Second-order kinetics and intraparticular diffusion were found to describe Nickel adsorption of both investigated materials.

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