Simultaneous adsorption of copper ions and humic acid onto an activated carbon

J. Paul Chen, Shunnian Wu

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128 Scopus citations


In this study, simultaneous adsorption of copper ions and humic acid (HA) from Aldrich onto an activated carbon is investigated. It is found that the HA adsorption in the absence of copper decreases as the pH is increased. It leads to a reduction of 34.7% in the specific surface area of carbon. There exists a critical concentration (CC) of HA for copper adsorption. At HA concentrations < CC, a decrease in copper adsorption is observed; however, the HA improves the adsorption at HA concentrations > CC. An increase in ionic strength can enhance the copper uptake; however, zinc and/or cobalt ions have an insignificant influence on copper adsorption. The adsorption is significantly increased by citric acid, whereas addition of EDTA slightly decreases the uptake. An intraparticle diffusion model is successfully used to describe the copper adsorption kinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-342
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Activated carbon
  • Adsorption
  • Copper ions
  • humic acid
  • Surface properties

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