In this study, citric acid was used to modify a commercially available activated carbon to improve copper ion adsorption from aqueous solutions. The carbon was modified with 1.0 M citric acid, followed by an optional step of reaction with 1.0 M sodium hydroxide. It was found that the surface modification reduced the specific surface area by 34% and point of zero charge (pHpzc) of the carbon by 0.5 units. Equilibrium results showed that citric acid modification increased the adsorption capacity to 14.92 mg Cu/g, which was 140% higher than the unmodified carbon. Higher initial solution pH resulted in higher copper adsorption. The chemical surface modification adversely affected the copper adsorption rate. Adsorption kinetic mechanisms were investigated with an intraparticle diffusion model. It was found that the modification did not change both external diffusion and intraparticle diffusion.
- A. Activated carbon
- B. Chemical treatment, Surface treatment
- C. Adsorption
- D. Adsorption properties