Multi-component adsorption study by using bone char: modelling and removal mechanisms

Regiane C. Ferreira, Diogo Dias, Isabel Fonseca, Maria Bernardo, João Lourenço Castagnari Willimann Pimenta, Nuno Lapa, Maria A. S. D. de Barros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Highly efficient simultaneous removal of paracetamol and Cu2+ ions from aqueous solutions was accomplished by using bovine bone char (BC). The adsorption behaviour was determined by kinetic and equilibrium studies of both single and binary system solutions. BC is a predominantly mesoporous material with a surface area of 103 m2 g−1. The influence of the initial pH on Cu2+ removal was tested, suggesting that the optimal pH was 3.0. The removal of paracetamol from single and binary systems was 9.45 and 12.7%, respectively. On the other hand, the Cu2+ removal was 36.2% for a single system, suggesting a higher affinity for BC. Moreover, in the case of binary mixtures, the presence of paracetamol led to an enhanced affinity of Cu2+ due to a synergistic/cooperative mechanism, which led to a copper removal of 97.3%. The cooperative model was successfully adjusted to the equilibrium data of the binary systems. The modelling results indicated the formation of a first adsorption layer where paracetamol and copper are retained, and a second layer with a great affinity for copper ions after the formation of a Cu-paracetamol complex, leading to higher removal of Cu2+.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020


  • Bone char
  • co-adsorption
  • competitive adsorption
  • heavy metal
  • paracetamol


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