Urban wood waste as precursor of activated carbon and its subsequent application for adsorption of polyaromatic hydrocarbons

  • Shramana Roy BarmanEmail author
  • Priya Banerjee
  • Papita Das
  • Aniruddha Mukhopadhayay
Original Article


A novel activated carbon with well-developed porous structure was fabricated from waste wood filings using H3PO4 as an activating agent. The activated carbon so prepared was further investigated for adsorption of polyaromatic hydrocarbons like acenapthene and naphthalene from their aqueous solution. Adsorption studies were optimized with response surface methodology. Data obtained in batch adsorption studies were also subjected to analysis of adsorption kinetics, isotherms and thermodynamics. Activated carbon reported in this study was found to be capable of removing 98% (approximately) of both PAHs considered in this study. The adsorption process was found to be guided by Temkin isotherm and pseudo-second-order kinetics. Results also indicated that the process of adsorption was spontaneous, endothermic and chemisorption in nature. Overall results indicated that the activated carbon prepared from waste wood filings could efficiently remove polyaromatic hydrocarbons from their respective aqueous solutions in highly reduced contact time and dosage.


Acenapthene Effluent treatment Green adsorbent Naphthalene Process modeling and optimization Waste recycling 

List of symbols


Absorbance maxima


Point of zero charge

Ce (mg L−1)

Equilibrium concentration of PAH in the solution

Ci (mg L−1)

Initial PAH concentration in the solution

k1 (min−1)

Pseudo-1st-order rate constant

k2 (g mg−1 min−1)

Pseudo-2nd-order rate constant

m (g)

Mass of the adsorbent

V (L)

Volume of the solution

qe (mg g−1)

Calculated values of the equilibrium adsorbate concentration in solid phase

qt (mg g−1)

Amount of PAH adsorbed at time t


Langmuir coefficient of energy of adsorption

\(K_{f} \left[ {{{\left( {{\text{mg}}\,{\text{g}}^{{ - 1}} } \right)} \mathord{\left/ {\vphantom {{\left( {{\text{mg}}\,{\text{g}}^{{ - 1}} } \right)} {\left( {{\text{mg}}\,{\text{L}}^{{ - 1}} } \right)}}} \right. \kern-\nulldelimiterspace} {\left( {{\text{mg}}\,{\text{L}}^{{ - 1}} } \right)}}_{f}^{{1/n}} } \right]\)

The Freundlich coefficients of adsorption capacity


The Freundlich coefficients of adsorption intensity

BT (J mole−1)

The Temkin coefficients of heat of adsorption

KT (L mg−1)

The Temkin coefficients of adsorption capacity

B (mol2 K−1 J−2)

The activity coefficient

Qs (mg g−1)

The maximum adsorption capacity


Polanyi potential

E (kJ mol−1)

The mean sorption energy


Correlation coefficient of determination


Pre-exponential factor of Arrhenius equation

Ea (J mol−1)

Activation energy

R (8.314 J mole−1 K−1)

Ideal gas constant

T (K)

Absolute experimental temperature

α (mg g−1 min)

Initial adsorption rate

β (mg g−1)

Elovich desorption constant

(kJ mol−1)

Gibbs free energy

(kJ mol−1)


(J mol−1 K−1)



Response (dependent variables)


Constant coefficient

np (p =  i, j, ij)

Coefficients of linear, quadratic and interaction regression models

xq (q =  i, j)

Experimental parameters (independent variables)




Interlayer spacing


Crystalline size along c-axis



This research was carried out with departmental funds. No separate fund was received for this study. The authors acknowledge all the members of the Department of Environmental Science, University of Calcutta and the Department of Chemical Engineering, Jadavpur University. The authors also acknowledge Center for Research in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, University of Calcutta, for providing the SEM and FTIR facilities. The authors also acknowledge Department of Polymer Science, University of Calcutta, for providing the XRD facility.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors hereby declare that they have no conflict of interest

Supplementary material

42108_2018_1_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.1 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2155 kb)
42108_2018_1_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (53 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 54 kb)
42108_2018_1_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (78 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (XLSX 78 kb)


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shramana Roy Barman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Priya Banerjee
    • 2
  • Papita Das
    • 3
  • Aniruddha Mukhopadhayay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ScienceUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Department of Environmental Studies, Directorate of Distance EducationRabindra Bharati UniversityKolkataIndia
  3. 3.Department of Chemical EngineeringJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia

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