H3PO4-activated sawdust and rice husk as effective decolorizers for textile wastewater containing Reactive Black 5

  • D. S. B. Thennakoone Patabandige
  • S. H. Wadumethrige
  • S. WanniarachchiEmail author
Original Paper


Textile wastewater contains significant amounts of dyes and chemicals, which makes it very difficult to be treated. Reactive Black 5 is one of the most widely used azo dyes that cause severe impact on environment and aquatic life. Activated carbons are known for their high adsorption capacities, and the objective of the current study was to prepare an effective low-cost adsorbent. H3PO4 acid-activated sawdust and rice husk which were prepared using a simple and low-cost method successfully adsorbed Reactive Black 5 (RB 5) in hypersaline synthetic and real textile dye bath wastewaters. SEM analysis of activated carbon made from these two materials showed an enhanced pore structure. 0.10 g of activated sawdust carbon decolorized 88, 97 and 75% of neat RB 5 solution, synthetic textile wastewater and real textile dye bath wastewater, respectively. RB 5 adsorption is pH dependent, and low pH facilitates the dye adsorption. Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models were used to analyze the equilibrium adsorption data, and only the Langmuir isotherm model shows a good correlation (R2 = 0.99). Kinetic data match well with the pseudo-second-order model, and the calculated rate constants are 6.09 × 10−3 g mg−1 min−1 and 9.88 × 10−3 g mg−1 min−1 for activated carbon of sawdust and rice husk, respectively. Thermodynamic parameters, ΔG0, ΔH0 and ΔS0, for both types of activated carbon show that the adsorption process is favorable, endothermic and spontaneous.


Sawdust Rice husks Adsorption Reactive Black 5 Textile wastewater 



The authors acknowledge National Research Council of Sri Lanka (NRC/15/155) for financial support and Department of Chemistry, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka, for infrastructure facilities. Authors thank Prof JW Hewage for valuable discussions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of RuhunaMataraSri Lanka

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