Removal of cadmium(II) from aqueous solutions by steam-activated sulphurised carbon prepared from sugar-cane bagasse pith: kinetics and equilibrium studies

  • K. Anoop Krishnan
  • T.S Anirudhan


Removal of cadmium(II) from aqueous solutions was studied using steam activated sulphurised carbon (SA-S-C) prepared from bagasse pith (a sugar-cane industry waste). Batch adsorption experiments were performed as a function of solute concentration, contact time, adsorbent dose, pH, temperature and ionic strength. The maximum removal took place in the pH range of 5.0 to 9.0. The maximum adsorption of 98.8 % (24.70 mg/g) took place by SA-S-C with 8.9 % sulphur content at pH 6.0 from an initial Cd(II) concentration of 50 mg/dm3. The sorption process follows pseudo-second-order kinetics. Kinetic parameters as a function of initial concentration and temperature were determined to predict the adsorption behaviour of Cd(II) onto SA-S-C. Decrease in ionic strength of the solution was found to improve the adsorption capacity of the adsorbent. The equilibrium data could be best fitted by the Langmuir adsorption isotherm equation over the entire concentration range (50 to 1 000 mg/dm3). The effectiveness of the SA-S-C for Cd(II) removal was examined and compared with other adsorbents reported in the literature. At solution pH of 6.0, the maximum adsorption capacity of SA-S-C calculated by the Langmuir isotherm is 149.93 mg/g at 30°C. Acid regeneration was tried for several cycles with a view to recover the sorbed metal ions and also to restore the sorbent to its original state.

Keywords: Adsorption dynamics , Langmuir equation, Cd(II) removal, Sulphurised carbon, Desorption

(WaterSA: 2003 29(2): 147-156)

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eISSN: 0378-4738