Tailored high mesoporous activated carbons derived from Lotus seed shell using one-step ZnCl2-activated method with its high Pb(II) capturing capacity

  • Xianling Huang
  • Yang HuangEmail author
  • Zhong PanEmail author
  • Wentian Xu
  • Weihua Zhang
  • Xin Zhang
Research Article


Lotus seed shell was employed using one-step method combining carbonization with ZnCl2 activation to synthesize activated carbons because of its inexpensiveness and local accessibility. The lotus seed shell–activated carbons (LSSACs) with the highest surface area (2450.8 m2/g) and mesoporosity (98.6%) and the largest pore volume (1.514 cm3/g) were tailored under optimum conditions as follows: impregnation ratio = 2:1, carbonization temperature = 600 °C, and time = 1.0 h. The surface Zn(II), abundant hydroxyl, and carboxyl functional groups from the activation process could result in rapid Pb(II) adsorption onto the LSSAC surface through surface complexation, ion exchange, or precipitation. The maximum monolayer adsorption capacity (qm) for Pb(II) of 247.7 mg/g at 25 °C could be fitted from the Langmuir isotherm. The Gibbs free energy (△G) and positive enthalpy (△H) indicated that the adsorption process was spontaneous and endothermic, and to some extent, it was explained by the intra-particle diffusion mechanism. Our results may provide a promising way to produce activated carbons with high adsorption capacity using solid waste, which will eventually promote the environmental sustainability.


Lead Activated carbon Lotus seed shell Mesoporous One step tailoring 


Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 21175115) and the Fujian Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 2018J01437).

Supplementary material

11356_2019_5845_MOESM1_ESM.docx (285 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 284 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Environmental Science, Fujian Province University Key Laboratory of Modern Analytical Science and Separation Technology & Fujian Province University Key Laboratory of Pollution Monitoring and ControlMinnan Normal UniversityZhangzhouChina
  2. 2.Laboratory of Marine Chemistry and Environmental Monitoring Technology, Third Institute of OceanographyMinistry of Natural ResourcesXiamenChina

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