Various health problems associated with drinking water containing high fluoride levels, have motivated researchers to develop more efficient adsorbents to remove fluoride from water for beneficial concentrations to human health. The objective of this research was to anchor lanthanum oxyhydroxides on a commercial granular activated carbon (GAC) to remove fluoride from water considering the effect of the solution pH, and the presence of co-existing anions and organic matter. The activated carbon was modified with lanthanum oxyhydroxides by impregnation. SEM and XRD were performed in order to determine the crystal structure and morphology of the La(III) particles anchored on the GAC surface. FT-IR and pKa's distribution were determined in order to elucidate both the possible mechanism of the lanthanum anchorage on the activated carbon surface and the fluoride adsorption mechanism on the modified material. The results showed that lanthanum ions prefer binding to carboxyl and phenolic groups on the activated carbon surface. Potentiometric titrations revealed that the modified carbon (GAC-La) possesses positive charge at a pH lower than 9. The adsorption capacity of the modified GAC increased five times in contrast to an unmodified GAC adsorption capacity at an initial F- concentration of 20mgL-1. Moreover, the presence of co-existing anions had no effect on the fluoride adsorption capacity at concentrations below 30mgL-1, that indicated high F- affinity by the modified adsorbent material (GAG-La).
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