Optimization of the conditions for the Cr (III) adsorption on activated carbon

Svetlana B. Lyubchik, Irene I. Perepichka, Olga L. Galushko, Andrey I. Lyubchik, Elena S. Lygina, Isabel M. Fonseca

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12 Citations (Scopus)


In order to understand the patterns of the adsorption equilibrium of Cr (III) on activated carbon, the adsorption process was studied by two different ways: classical batch experiments on commercial Norit and Merck activated carbons and their oxidized forms in a wide range of pHs; and extended time-based tests at the same pH values on the same adsorbents. This approach allowed us to understand the role of texture, chemical carbon surface functionality and experimental conditions (initial pH of the solution, contact time and adsorbate/adsorbent ratio) on the effectiveness of Cr (III) removal. The adsorption process of Cr (III) at (24 ± 1C) on Merck and Norit activated carbons and their oxidized forms were studied at pH values between 1.5 and 5 (either adjusted or buffered). Chromium concentration was fixed at 200 ppm. The carbon loading ranged from 1.2 to 20 g/l. The carbon/Cr (III) solution contact time was varied from 0.5-1 month to 5 months, to ensure that the saturation of the carbon level was reached. According to the data obtained, the presence of carboxylic groups on carbon surface seems to enhance Cr (III) uptake at initial pH of the solution in the range between 2 and 4. Depending on the nature of the adsorbent surface chemistry, the contact time to reach equilibrium may range from 3 to 5 months. There is an optimum carbon loading which limits the Cr (III) uptake/removal at given pH value. In order to understand the adsorption process, an ion exchange, surface complex and surface precipitation were considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-593
Number of pages13
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2005
Event5th Brazilian Meeting on Adsorption - Natal, Brazil
Duration: 18 Jul 200421 Jul 2004


  • Activated carbon
  • Adsorption
  • Heavy metals
  • Surface chemistry


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