Porous carbon materials derived from biopolymers are attractive sorbents for the removal of emerging pollutants from water, due to their high specific surface area, high porosity, tunable surface chemistry, and reasonable cost. However, carrageenan biopolymers were scarcely investigated as a carbon source to prepare porous carbon materials. Herein, hydrochars (HCs) and porous activated carbons (ACs) derived from natural occurring polysaccharides with variable sulfate content (κ-, ι- and λ-carrageenan) were prepared and investigated in the uptake of ciprofloxacin, which is an antibiotic detected in water sources and that poses serious hazards to public health. The materials were prepared using hydrothermal carbonization and subsequent chemical activation with KOH to increase the available surface area. The activated carbons were markedly microporous, presenting high specific surface area, up to 2800 m2
/g. Activated carbons derived from κ- and λ-carrageenan showed high adsorption capacity (422 and 459 mg/g, respectively) for ciprofloxacin and fast adsorption kinetics, reaching the sorption equilibrium in approximately 5 min. These features place the ACs investigated here among the best systems reported in the literature for the removal of ciprofloxacin from water.
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