Modified Activated Carbon for Copper Ion Removal from Aqueous Solution

Wei Sheng Chen, Yun Chung Chen, Cheng Han Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Because of increasing environmental awareness, it is becoming more important to remove harmful elements from water solutions. This study used activated carbon (AC) derived from waste wood-based panels as the base material, oxidized with nitric acid (OAC), and grafted with iminodiacetic acid (IDA-OAC) to improve the adsorption capacity and affinity for metals. The characterization of AC, OAC, and IDA-OAC was conducted via FTIR, SEM, N2 adsorption and desorption analysis, elemental analysis, Boehm titration, and point of zero charge (PZC). The instrument studies proved the modified increasing of the functional groups of the adsorbents. Moreover, batch and column experiments were conducted to evaluate the ability of the three adsorbents to remove copper ions from aqueous solution. In batch sorption, IDA-OAC had the highest adsorption capacity (84.51 mg/g) compared to OAC (54.74 mg/g) and AC (24.86 mg/g) at pH 5. The breakthrough point (Ct/Ci = 0.05) of copper ions for IDA-OAC occurred much later than AC in the column experiment (AC = 19 BV, IDA-OAC = 52 BV). The Langmuir isotherm and pseudo-second-model kinetics modeling could better fit with the data obtained from the batch sorption of AC, OAC, and IDA-OAC. The significant capacity and reusability of IDA-OAC displayed high applicability for water treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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