Single-step pyrolysis of phosphoric acid-activated chitin for efficient adsorption of cephalexin antibiotic

W A Khanday, M J Ahmed, P U Okoye, Esam H Hummadi, B H Hameed
Bioresource Technology 2019 February 2, 280: 255-259
Cephalexin (CFX) antibiotic, a potent pharmaceutical water pollutant, was efficiently removed by activated carbon (AC) derived from a single-step pyrolysis of phosphoric acid-activated chitin. Experimental conditions such as temperature, CFX initial concentration, and solution pH were screened in batch adsorption. Phosphoric acid activation of chitin and subsequent pyrolysis tailored the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area, total pore volume, and average pore diameter to 1199.02 m2 /g, 0.641 cm3 /g, and 21.37 Å, respectively. The Langmuir isotherm adequately described the equilibrium data for CFX adsorption on chitin-AC, with an R2 of 0.99 and a monolayer capacity of 245.19 mg/g at 50 °C. Chitin-AC showed higher adsorption capacity compared with other ACs derived from industrial and agricultural precursors. When activated by phosphoric acid, chitin-AC featured functional multi-sites for vast antibiotic adsorption treatment. Overall, chitin-AC could be a promising adsorbent for removal of CFX.


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