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Water, Air, & Soil Pollution

, 229:366 | Cite as

Adsorption, Kinetics and Equilibrium Studies on Removal of Catechol and Resorcinol from Aqueous Solution Using Low-Cost Activated Carbon Prepared from Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) Seed Hull Residues

  • Ephraim VunainEmail author
  • Dégninou Houndedjihou
  • Maurice Monjerezi
  • Adolp Anga Muleja
  • BarthélémyTomkouani Kodom
Article

Abstract

This study reports on the feasibility of remediation of catechol- and resorcinol-contaminated water using low-cost sunflower seed hull activated carbon (SSHAC). Sunflower seed hull (SSH), an abundant agricultural waste in Malawi, was used as precursor to prepare highly porous activated carbon by physicochemical activation, with zinc chloride (ZnCl2) as an activating agent. The activated carbon was characterized by FTIR, SEM-EDS, XRD and BET analyses. In this work, pertinent parameters that affect the adsorption efficiency—pH, initial adsorbate concentration, contact time, adsorbent dosage, and solution temperature—were investigated in batch mode. At the same experimental conditions, more catechol was adsorbed than resorcinol may be due to the compound’s affinity towards water and the position of the hydroxyl group on the benzene ring. A maximum equilibrium adsorption of 271 and 250 mg/g was obtained at pH 9.0 and pH 8.0 for catechol and resorcinol, respectively. The adsorption behaviour of both adsorbates (catechol and resorcinol) on SSHAC can be well described by Langmuir isotherm model and pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The value ∆G, ∆S and ∆H indicated spontaneous and endothermic adsorption process. The adsorption process was readily reversible allowing reusability of the adsorbate. This study’s outcome is value addition to this category of wastes for environmental protection.

Keywords

Sunflower seed hull Activated carbon Catechol Resorcinol Adsorption Kinetics 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Department of Chemistry Research Fund, Chancellor College, University of Malawi. Many thanks to the Excellence Centers for Exchange and Development (EXCEED) programme, through the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) for an award of a three-month research grant. The authors would like to thank the University of South Africa, for the use of their SEM-EDX, Zetasizer and TGA instruments for characterization.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ephraim Vunain
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dégninou Houndedjihou
    • 2
  • Maurice Monjerezi
    • 1
  • Adolp Anga Muleja
    • 3
  • BarthélémyTomkouani Kodom
    • 2
  1. 1.National Resources and Environmental Centre (NAREC), Faculty of Science, Department of ChemistryUniversity of MalawiZombaMalawi
  2. 2.Laboratory of Water Chemistry, Chemistry Department, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of LomeBvd Gnassingbé EyademaTogo
  3. 3.College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET)University of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

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