Kinetic, equilibrium isotherm and thermodynamic studies of Cr(VI) adsorption onto low-cost adsorbent developed from peanut shell activated with phosphoric acid

Zeid A ALOthman, Mu Naushad, Rahmat Ali
Environmental Science and Pollution Research International 2013, 20 (5): 3351-65
A particular agricultural waste, peanut shell, has been used as precursor for activated carbon production by chemical activation with H₃PO₄. Unoxidized activated carbon was prepared in nitrogen atmosphere which was then heated in air at a desired temperature to get oxidized activated carbon. The prepared carbons were characterized for surface area, surface morphology, and pore volume and utilized for the removal of Cr(VI) from aqueous solution. Batch mode experiments were conducted to study the effects of pH, contact time, particle size, adsorbent dose, initial concentration of adsorbate, and temperature on the adsorption of Cr(VI). Cr(VI) adsorption was significantly dependent on solution pH, and the optimum adsorption was observed at pH 2. Pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, and intraparticle diffusion models were used to analyze the kinetic data obtained at different initial Cr(VI) concentrations. The adsorption kinetic data were described very well by the pseudo-second-order model. Equilibrium isotherm data were analyzed by the Langmuir, Freundlich, and Temkin models. The results showed that the Langmuir adsorption isotherm model fitted the data better in the temperature range studied. The adsorption capacity which was found to increase with temperature showed the endothermic nature of Cr(VI) adsorption. The thermodynamic parameters, such as Gibb's Free energy change (ΔG°), standard enthalpy change (ΔH°), and standard entropy change (ΔS°) were evaluated.

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