Adsorption of methylene blue dye onto activated carbons based on agricultural by-products: equilibrium and kinetic studies
Mixtures of novolac resin and olive stone biomass (20/80 and 40/60 w/w) were cured, pyrolyzed up to 1,000 °C and activated with CO2 under a continuous flow operation (named N20B-cCa and N40B-cCa respectively). Commercial activated charcoal was similarly re-activated with CO2 and used for comparison reasons (AC-a). The characterization of these materials was performed by Fourier transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis and their specific surface area was determined according to DIN 66132. The materials were tested for their adsorption abilities at different temperatures (298, 333 K) and initial dye concentrations (0.01–0.35 g/L) using 1 L of methylene blue (MB) solution in 10 g of activated carbon. MB adsorption kinetic was also studied. The FTIR spectra of all activated carbons show absorption peaks which correspond to –OH, –CH, –C–O–C– groups and to aromatic ring. The presence of the absorption peak at about 1,400 cm−1 for N20B-cCa, N40B-cCa indicates more acidic groups on them compared to the commercial AC-a. The specific surface area of N20B-cCa, N40B-cCa and AC-a has values equal to 352, 342 and 760 m2/g respectively. From the applied kinetic models, pseudo-second-order equation could best describe MB adsorption. Consequently, such adsorbents can be used as filters to adsorb dyes from wastewaters.