The aim of this work was to test activated carbons derived from hydrochars produced from sunflower stem, olive stone and walnut shells, as adsorbents for emerging contaminants in aqueous solution, namely fluoxetine and nicotinic acid. The adsorption capacity was determined by the chemical nature of the adsorbents, namely the presence of specific functional groups and their positive or negative ionization in aqueous solutions and also by steric factors. The activated carbons produced by air showed a higher adsorption capacity of fluoxetine, whilst the samples produced by carbon dioxide activation were more useful to remove nicotinic acid. In general, surface acidity was advantageous for fluoxetine adsorption and detrimental for nicotinic acid removal. The adsorption mechanisms involved in each case were discussed and related to the adsorbents characteristics. The maximum adsorption capacity, Q0, given by the Langmuir model was 44.1 and 91.9 mg g-1 for fluoxetine and nicotinic acid adsorption, respectively.
- Activated carbons
- Pharmaceutical effluents