Graphical abstract: In this study, cadmium and lead ions removal from aqueous solutions using a commercial activated carbon adsorbent (CGAC) were investigated under batch conditions. The adsorbent was observed to have a coarse surface with crevices, high resistance to attrition, high surface area and pore volume with bimodal pore size distribution which indicates that the material was mesoporous. Sorption kinetics for Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions proceeded through a two-stage kinetic profile-initial quick uptake occurring within 30min followed by a gradual removal of the two metal ions until 180min with optimum uptake (qe,exp) of 17.23mgg−1 and 16.84mgg−1 for Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions respectively. Modelling of sorption kinetics indicates that the pseudo first order (PFO) model described the sorption of Pb(II) ion better than Cd(II), while the reverse was observed with respect to the pseudo second order (PSO) model. Intraparticle diffusion modelling showed that intraparticle diffusion may not be the only mechanism that influenced the rate of ions uptake. Isotherm modelling was carried out and the results indicated that the Langmuir and Freundlich models described the uptake of Pb(II) ion better than Cd(II) ion. A comparison of the two models indicated that the Langmuir isotherm is the better isotherm for the description of Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions sorption by the adsorbent. The maximum loading capacity (qmax) obtained from the Langmuir isotherm was 27.3mgg−1 and 20.3mgg−1 for Cd(II) and Pb(II) ions respectively.
- Commercial activated carbon
- Heavy metals
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Process Chemistry and Technology