Surface modification of a granular activated carbon by citric acid for enhancement of copper adsorption

J. Paul Chen*, Shunnian Wu, Kai Hau Chong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

313 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1979-1986
Number of pages8
JournalCarbon
Volume41
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • A. Activated carbon
  • B. Chemical treatment, Surface treatment
  • C. Adsorption
  • D. Adsorption properties

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