Removal of phenol from aqueous solution by adsorption onto activated carbon and fungal biomass

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Research Paper 01/08/2013
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Removal of phenol from aqueous solution by adsorption onto activated carbon and fungal biomass

C. O. Nweke, G. C. Okpokwasili
Int. J. Biosci.3( 8), 11-21, August 2013.
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Removal of phenol from aqueous solution by adsorption onto activated carbon and Aspergillus niger biomass was investigated. The effects of pH, adsorbent dose and contact time on phenol adsorption onto activated carbon and H2SO4-treated A. niger biomass were evaluated. Optimum adsorption of phenol onto H2SO4-treated A. niger was obtained at pH 3.0 while pH had no significant effect on the adsorption of phenol onto activated carbon. The amount of phenol adsorbed per unit mass of A. niger biomass decreased with increase in adsorbent dose. Adsorption of phenol on activated carbon was rapid reaching equilibrium within 2 minutes. Conversely, the equilibrium time for adsorption of phenol onto H2SO4-treated A. niger biomass was 180 minutes. . The kinetic data obtained from the batch studies of phenol adsorption on A. niger biomass and activated carbon were better described by pseudo-second-order kinetic model with correlation coefficients of 1.000 and 0.999 for activated carbon and H2SO4-treated A. niger respectively. The second-order kinetic constant (K2) were 1.4057 min-1 and 0.0122 min-1 for activated carbon and H2SO4-treated A. niger respectively. Freundlich adsorption isotherm fitted the experimental data better than Langmuir model. The correlation coefficients obtained with Freundlich isotherm were 0.997 and 0.999 for activated carbon and H2SO4-treated A. niger biomass respectively The maximum adsorption capacity of activated carbon is 165.941 mg phenol/g activated carbon. The result of this study showed the potential of A. niger adsorption to remove phenol from aqueous media


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