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Removal of Ni(II), Zn(II) and Pb(II) ions from Single Metal Aqueous Solution using Activated Carbon Prepared from Rice Husk

Authors: Mohd F. Taha, Chong F. Kiat, Maizatul S. Shaharun, Anita Ramli


The abundance and availability of rice husk, an agricultural waste, make them as a good source for precursor of activated carbon. In this work, rice husk-based activated carbons were prepared via base treated chemical activation process prior the carbonization process. The effect of carbonization temperatures (400, 600 and 800oC) on their pore structure was evaluated through morphology analysis using scanning electron microscope (SEM). Sample carbonized at 800oC showed better evolution and development of pores as compared to those carbonized at 400 and 600oC. The potential of rice husk-based activated carbon as an alternative adsorbent was investigated for the removal of Ni(II), Zn(II) and Pb(II) from single metal aqueous solution. The adsorption studies using rice husk-based activated carbon as an adsorbent were carried out as a function of contact time at room temperature and the metal ions were analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The ability to remove metal ion from single metal aqueous solution was found to be improved with the increasing of carbonization temperature. Among the three metal ions tested, Pb(II) ion gave the highest adsorption on rice husk-based activated carbon. The results obtained indicate the potential to utilize rice husk as a promising precursor for the preparation of activated carbon for removal of heavy metals.

Keywords: Activated carbon, metal ion adsorption, rice husk, wastewater treatment.

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