Role of Microporosity and Surface Functionality of Activated Carbon in Methylene Blue Dye Removal from Water

Topics: Adsorption, Activated carbon, BET theory Pages: 17 (5946 words) Published: January 26, 2013
Role of microporosity and surface functionality of activated carbon in Methylene Blue dye removal from water

Mohammad Asadullahab*, Mohammad Shajahan Kabirb, Mohammad Boshir Ahmedb, Nadiah Abdul Razaka, Nurul Shuhada Abdur Rasida and Airin Aezziraa aFaculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Mara, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia

bDepartment of Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi 6205, Bangladesh

*Corresponding author: Present address: Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Mara, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia Tel.: +60 3 5543 6359; Fax: +60 3 5543 6300
E-mail address:; (Mohammad Asadullah)

Activated carbons have been prepared from jute stick by both chemical and physical activation methods using ZnCl2 and steam, respectively. The activated carbons were characterized by evaluating surface area, iodine number, pore size distribution, surface functional groups and surface textural properties. Based on the analysis, the activated carbon prepared by chemical activation method, (ACC) featured micropore structure, while the activated carbon prepared by physical activation, (ACS) largely featured macropore structure. The BET surface area of ACC and ACS was 2300 m2/g and 730 m2/g, respectively. The FT-IR spectra revealed that a significant number of organic functional groups are randomly distributed on the large surface area of ACC, meanwhile it was very limited for ACS. The microporosity along with surface functional groups provided a unique property to ACC to adsorb methylene blue dye, which is a representative basic dye for textile industries, in a large extent compared to ACS. The adsorption of dye using both ACC and ACS was also affected by the adsorption parameters such as adsorption time, temperature and pH. Comparatively higher temperature and pH facilitated dye adsorption significantly, especially for ACC.

Keywords: Activated carbon, Jute stick, Chemical activation, Methylene blue, Adsorption

1. Introduction
Activated carbons (AC) possess high surface area with porous structures and are widely known as efficient adsorbents for both gas and liquid phase adsorptions. The increasing environmental concern significantly increased the applicability of AC for industrial pollutants separation. The effluents from industries, such as textile, leather, paper, ink and cosmetics as well as from the industries that produce dyes are severely contaminated with dyes, pigments, surfactants and many other toxic chemicals. These contaminated effluents ultimately go to the surface water reservoir. The dye contaminated water even in a very low concentration is visible and aesthetically unacceptable. As most dyes are toxic and primarily contaminate surface water, the water biota is the primary victim of dye contamination, and long exposure of dyes in water often causes food chain contamination, resulting in adverse health effect. Hence, it is mandatory to reduce contaminant concentration in effluent bellow acceptable range before being released into the environment by utilizing proper treatment process. Due to the technological advancement, numerous processes have been attempted to remove dyes and other contaminants from effluent in the last few decades. The most frequently used processes are adsorption [1-4], oxidation–ozonation [5], photocatalysis [6], biological treatment [7], coagulation–flocculation [8] and membrane separation [9]. Among the processes, the adsorption is the most versatile and economic due to many advantages. Although the biological treatment for organic compounds removal from water is some extent effective, the removal of organic refractory contaminants has proven to be very ineffective. Even the contaminants are non reactive, the adsorbent can remove contaminants satisfactorily [10-12]. A number of adsorbents...
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