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Materials 2014, 7(4), 2815-2832; doi:10.3390/ma7042815
Article

Base Catalytic Approach: A Promising Technique for the Activation of Biochar for Equilibrium Sorption Studies of Copper, Cu(II) Ions in Single Solute System

1
,
1,2,*  and 2
1 Nanoscience and Catalysis Center (NANOCAT), University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia 2 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur 50603, Malaysia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 December 2013 / Revised: 26 February 2014 / Accepted: 28 February 2014 / Published: 9 April 2014
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Abstract

This study examines the feasibility of catalytically pretreated biochar derived from the dried exocarp or fruit peel of mangostene with Group I alkali metal hydroxide (KOH). The pretreated char was activated in the presence of carbon dioxide gas flow at high temperature to upgrade its physiochemical properties for the removal of copper, Cu(II) cations in single solute system. The effect of three independent variables, including temperature, agitation time and concentration, on sorption performance were carried out. Reaction kinetics parameters were determined by using linear regression analysis of the pseudo first, pseudo second, Elovich and intra-particle diffusion models. The regression co-efficient, R2 values were best for the pseudo second order kinetic model for all the concentration ranges under investigation. This implied that Cu(II) cations were adsorbed mainly by chemical interactions with the surface active sites of the activated biochar. Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin isotherm models were used to interpret the equilibrium data at different temperature. Thermodynamic studies revealed that the sorption process was spontaneous and endothermic. The surface area of the activated sample was 367.10 m2/g, whereas before base activation, it was only 1.22 m2/g. The results elucidated that the base pretreatment was efficient enough to yield porous carbon with an enlarged surface area, which can successfully eliminate Cu(II) cations from waste water.
Keywords: adsorption; kinetics; isotherm; heavy metals; copper; Cu(II); single solute system adsorption; kinetics; isotherm; heavy metals; copper; Cu(II); single solute system
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Hamid, S.B.A.; Chowdhury, Z.Z.; Zain, S.M. Base Catalytic Approach: A Promising Technique for the Activation of Biochar for Equilibrium Sorption Studies of Copper, Cu(II) Ions in Single Solute System. Materials 2014, 7, 2815-2832.

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