Removal of heavy metal from industrial wastewater using modified activated coconut shell carbon
The present study was undertaken to develop a cost effective biosorbent and to study the biosorption process involved in the adsorption of heavy metal-contaminated industrial wastewater using the developed biosorbent. Coconut shell carbon was modified with chitosan and/or oxidizing agent (phosphoric acid) to produce composite adsorbent. The adsorption efficiency of the adsorbent was evaluated by measuring the extent of adsorption of zinc (II) in synthetic beverage industrial wastewater. Operational parameters such as pH, agitation time and adsorbent concentration, initial ion concentration and particle size were also studied. Adsorption data fitted well with the Langmuir and Freundlich models. However, Langmuir isotherm displayed a better fitting model than Freundlich isotherm because of the higher correlation coefficient that the former exhibited, thus, indicating to the applicability of monolayer coverage of the zinc (II) on the surface of adsorbent. Desorption studies were carried out with NaOH and quantitative recovery of the metal was evident. The dominant sorption mechanism is ion exchange. The use of agricultural waste (coconut shell) and aquatic waste (chitin) to produce activated carbon potentially leads to the production of a highly effective adsorbent generated from less expensive raw materials that are from renewable resources.