Simultaneous removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heavy metals from water using granular activated carbon

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Chemosphere, 2019, 223 pp. 616 - 627
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heavy metals are dangerous pollutants that commonly co-occur in water. An adsorption study conducted on the simultaneous removal of PAHs (acenaphthylene, phenanthrene) and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Zn) by granular activated carbon (GAC) showed that, when these pollutants are present together, their adsorption was less than when they were present individually. The adsorptive removal percentage of PAHs (initial concentration 1 mg/L) was much higher than that of heavy metals (initial concentration (20 mg/L). The reduction in adsorption of PAHs by heavy metals followed the heavy metals' adsorption capacity and reduction in the negative zeta potential of GAC order (Cu > Zn > Cd). In contrast, PAHs had little effect on the zeta potential of GAC. The Langmuir adsorption capacities of acenaphthylene (0.31–2.63 mg/g) and phenanthrene (0.74–7.36 mg/g) on GAC decreased with increased metals' concentration with the reduction following the order of the metals’ adsorption capacity. The kinetic adsorption data fitted to Weber and Morris plots, indicating intra-particle diffusion of both PAHs and heavy metals into the mesopores and micropores in GAC with the diffusion rates. This depended on the type of PAH and metal and whether the pollutants were present alone or together.
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