Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 19, pp 19828–19842 | Cite as

Shaddock peels-based activated carbon as cost-saving adsorbents for efficient removal of Cr (VI) and methyl orange

  • Xiaoming Tao
  • Yunhai WuEmail author
  • Ligen Cha
Research Article


A simple and economical method was proposed to synthesize the shaddock peels-based activated carbon (SPAC) for their application as efficient sorbents to eliminate Cr (VI) and methyl orange (MO) from one-component and two-component systems. The synthesis was conducted via activation of phosphoric acid and high-temperature carbonization. The as-prepared SPAC was characterized by Brunauer–Emmett–Teller, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, among other techniques. The adsorption experiment, which used five types of fruit peel (shaddock peels, orange peels, apple peels, banana peels, and tangerine peels), indicated that shaddock peels were the optimal precursors, with the high removal efficiencies for Cr (VI) (21.2%) and MO (54.25%). The effects of various factors (e.g., initial concentration, sorbent dosage, pH values, and contact time) were systematically evaluated. For the one-component system, the maximum adsorption capacities of Cr (VI) (9.95 mg/g) and MO (94.59 mg/g) reached pH levels 2 and 3, respectively. Kinetic modeling demonstrated that the pseudo-second-order kinetic model was adopted for the one-component and two-component systems. Isotherm studies suggested that Cr (VI) and MO sorption processes in the one-component explained well the Langmuir and Freundlich models, respectively. The extended Freundlich multicomponent isotherm model was more compatible for explaining competitive adsorption in the binary component system. The adsorbed amount of Cr (VI) was markedly suppressed by MO, whereas MO adsorption was not significantly influenced owing to the existence of Cr (VI). The higher adsorption capacity of MO could be mainly attributed to the strong force acting between MO and SPAC. The findings of this study confirmed that SPAC provided a sustainable choice for cycling solid waste shaddock peels to remove hazardous contaminants.


Shaddock peels-based activated carbon Cr (VI) Methyl orange Adsorption Two-component system 


Funding information

This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5322_MOESM1_ESM.docx (26.5 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 27117 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Integrated Regulation and Resources Development of Shallow Lakes, Ministry of EducationHohai UniversityNanjingChina

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