Hexavalent Chromium Adsorption by a Novel Activated Carbon Prepared by Microwave Activation

Anirban Kundu, Ghufran Redzwan, Jaya Narayan Sahu, Sumona Mukherjee, Bhaskar Sen Gupta, Mohd Ali Hashim

Abstract


Microwave heating reduces the preparation time and improves the adsorption quality of activated carbon. In this study, activated carbon was prepared by impregnation of palm kernel fiber with phosphoric acid followed by microwave activation. Three different types of activated carbon were prepared, having high surface areas of 872 m2 g-1, 1256 m2 g-1, and 952 m2 g-1 and pore volumes of 0.598 cc g-1, 1.010 cc g-1, and 0.778 cc g-1, respectively. The combined effects of the different process parameters, such as the initial adsorbate concentration, pH, and temperature, on adsorption efficiency were explored with the help of Box-Behnken design for response surface methodology (RSM). The adsorption rate could be expressed by a polynomial equation as the function of the independent variables. The hexavalent chromium adsorption rate was found to be 19.1 mg g-1 at the optimized conditions of the process parameters, i.e., initial concentration of 60 mg L-1, pH of 3, and operating temperature of 50 oC. Adsorption of Cr(VI) by the prepared activated carbon was spontaneous and followed second-order kinetics. The adsorption mechanism can be described by the Freundlich Isotherm model. The prepared activated carbon has demonstrated comparable performance to other available activated carbons for the adsorption of Cr(VI).

Keywords


Activated carbon; Palm kernel fiber; RSM; Box-Behnken; Chromium

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