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South African Journal of Chemistry

On-line version ISSN 1996-840X
Print version ISSN 0379-4350

Abstract

PAKADE, Vusumzi E.; MAREMENI, Londolani C.; NTULI, Themba D.  and  TAVENGWA, Nikita T.. Application of quaternized activated carbon derived from Macadamia Nutshells for the removal of hexavalent chromium from aqueous solutions. S.Afr.j.chem. (Online) [online]. 2016, vol.69, pp.180-188. ISSN 1996-840X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/0379-4350/2016/v69a22.

In this paper, the feasibility of quaternized activated carbon derived from Macadamia nutshells was explored in the removal of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) from aqueous solutions. The amino-modified activated carbon was achieved by cross-linking native Macadamia activated carbon (MAC) with epichlorohydrin and grafting diethylenetriamine and triethylamine (EDT) on the surface and the product was labelled as MAC-EDT. The adsorbent was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectros-copy (FTIR), Bruemer-Emmett-Teller (BET), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and the CHNS analyzer. The optimum parameters for Cr(VI) removal found were pH (5), contact time (120 min) and sorbent mass (0.10 g) where removal efficiencies were >90 % in all cases. Langmuir model fitted the data best and the adsorption capacity was 145.5 mg g-1 after surface modification with EDT. The Cr(VI) ion was found to be adsorbed more as compared to other anions, and the sorption order was: SO42- <PO43- ≈ NO3- < Cr2O72. The removal mechanism involved adsorption of Cr(VI) and/or subsequent reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III).

Keywords : Activated carbon; amination; Macadamia; chromium(VI); adsorption; reduction.

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