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A comparison on efficiency of virgin and sulfurized agro-based adsorbents for mercury removal from aqueous systems

Mercury adsorption by sulfur impregnated adsorbents seems to be one of the most efficient ways for removal of this toxic metal ion from wastewater and atmosphere. The aim of this work was to develop a method for preparation of low-cost sulfurized adsorbent from agricultural wastes; this approach combines two stages of (i) chemical activation with phosphoric acid and (ii) impregnation with powdered sulfur, in one step only. The physico-chemical properties of sulfurized adsorbent (AC-S) were determined with BET, FT-IR, Eschka method and pHPZC measurements, and compared with those of the virgin sample (AC). It was found that sulfurization according to this method can introduce about 8 wt.% sulfur into the structure of adsorbent, in the forms of C–S, S–H, S–S and S=O functional groups. Although during the sulfur introduction processes, a decrease in surface area and micropore volume of the sulfurized adsorbent is to be expected, not only such decrease did not occur in this work, but a large increase in microporosity was seen. Thereupon, both the sulfur functionalities and extended microporosity of AC-S lead to higher capability of this sample for mercury adsorption rather than AC. Finally, the kinetics and equilibrium of mercury adsorption from aqueous solutions were studied for AC and AC-S.

Authors:   Neda Asasian, Tahereh Kaghazchi
Journal:   Adsorption
Year:   2012
DOI:   10.1007/s10450-012-9437-8
Publication date:   17-Oct-2012
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  • kinetics
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  • adsorbents
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