nut waste was utilized to obtain high surface area activated carbon (AC), and it was further functionalized with succinic anhydride under microwave irradiation. The surface morphology and surface functional groups of the materials were discussed with the help of scanning electron microscope(SEM) images and fourier transform infra-red (FT-IR) analysis. The specific surface area of the AC and functionalized-AC was obtained by the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) method, and found to be 367.303 and 308.032 m2
/g, respectively. Batch experiments showed that higher pH favoured the removal of Hg(II), whereas the phenol removal was slightly affected by the changes in the solution pH. The kinetic data followed pseudo-first order kinetic model, and intra-particle diffusion played a significant role in the removal of both pollutants. The maximum sorption capacity of Hg(II) and phenol were evaluated using Langmuir adsorption isotherms, and found to be 11.23 and 5.37 mg/g, respectively. The removal of Hg(II) was significantly suppressed in the presence of chloride ions due to the formation of a HgCl2
species. The phenol was specifically adsorbed, forming the donor–acceptor complexes or π–π electron interactions at the surface of the solid. Further, a fixed-bed column study was conducted for both Hg(II) and phenol. The loading capacity of the column was estimated using the nonlinear Thomas equation, and found to be 2.49 and 2.70 mg/g, respectively. Therefore, the study showed that functionalized AC obtained from areca
nut waste could be employed as a sustainable adsorbent for the simultaneous removal of Hg(II) and phenol from polluted water.
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