Batch sorption dynamics and equilibrium for the removal of lead ions from aqueous phase using activated carbon developed from coffee residue activated with zinc chloride

F Boudrahem, F Aissani-Benissad, H Aït-Amar
Journal of Environmental Management 2009, 90 (10): 3031-9
Lignocellulosic materials are good precursors for the production of activated carbon. In this work, coffee residue has been used as raw material in the preparation of powder activated carbon by the method of chemical activation with zinc chloride for the sorption of Pb(II) from dilute aqueous solutions. The influence of impregnation ratio (ZnCl2/coffee residue) on the physical and chemical properties of the prepared carbons was studied in order to optimize this parameter. The optimum experimental condition for preparing predominantly microporous activated carbons with high pore surface area (890 m2/g) and micropore volume (0.772 cm3/g) is an impregnation ratio of 100%. The developed activated carbon shows substantial capability to sorb lead(II) ions from aqueous solutions and for relative impregnation ratios of 75 and 100%, the maximum uptake is practically the same. Thus, 75% represents the optimal impregnation ratio. Batch experiments were conducted to study the effects of the main parameters such as contact time, initial concentration of Pb(II), solution pH, ionic strength and temperature. The maximum uptake of lead(II) at 25 degrees C was about 63 mg/g of adsorbent at pH 5.8, initial Pb(II) concentration of 10 mg/L, agitation speed of 200 rpm and ionic strength of 0.005 M. The kinetic data were fitted to the models of pseudo-first order and pseudo-second order, and follow closely the pseudo-second order model. Equilibrium sorption isotherms of Pb(II) were analyzed by the Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin isotherm models. The Freundlich model gives a better fit than the others. Results from this study suggest that activated carbon produced from coffee residue is an effective adsorbent for the removal of lead from aqueous solutions and that ZnCl2 is a suitable activating agent for the preparation of high-porosity carbons.

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