Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 9, pp 9161–9173 | Cite as

Regeneration of 4-chlorophenol from spent powdered activated carbon by ultrasound

  • Tingting Zhang
  • Yanling Yang
  • Xing Li
  • Nan Wang
  • Zhiwei ZhouEmail author
Research Article


Ultrasound-assisted regeneration of powdered activated carbon (PAC) saturated with 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) was investigated in this work. The variables, i.e., acoustic frequency, density levels, regenerating solution species, spent PAC mass, and the number of repeated cycle, were optimized. The UV–Vis spectra, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET), and pore structure analysis were used to characterize the regenerated PAC as compared to the virgin and spent PAC. The adsorption experiments indicated that the adsorption kinetics of 4-CP fitted well with the pseudo-second-order model, and the main chemisorption process was nonlinear and heterogeneous. The desorption results showed that the optimized regenerated conditions were identified as 40 kHz of frequency, 0.18 W/mL of sonication intensity, 0.1 M NaOH and 50% (v/v) ethyl alcohol mixture of regeneration solution, and 1 g/L of saturated PAC mass. Under this condition, the regeneration efficiency reached up to 86.81%. Hydroxylated oxidation products especially benzoquinone and hydroquinone were formed during ultrasound regeneration. Ultrasound mainly acted on surface functionalities, mesopores, and macropores of PAC through the hydroxyl radical oxidization resulted from the cavitation effect.


Powdered activated carbon Regeneration Ultrasound Adsorption–desorption 



We would like to give our sincere thanks to the peer reviewers for their suggestions.

Funding information

The study received financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51778012).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_4392_MOESM1_ESM.docx (679 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 679 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tingting Zhang
    • 1
  • Yanling Yang
    • 1
  • Xing Li
    • 1
  • Nan Wang
    • 1
  • Zhiwei Zhou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Architecture and Civil engineeringBeijing University of TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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