Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 341–346 | Cite as

Efficient lead sorption from wastewater by carbon nanofibers

  • Yehya M. Ahmed
  • Abdullah Al-Mamun
  • Ma’an Fahmi R. Al Khatib
  • Ahmad Tariq Jameel
  • Mohammed Abdul Hakeem Abdul Rahman AlSaadi
Original Paper


Wastewater from many industries contains toxic metal ions, which should be removed before water is released into the environment. Many adsorbents have been developed to remove metals, but their efficiency should be improved by, e.g., increasing surface area. Here, we tested the use of carbon nanofibers synthesized on the surface of activated carbon, to remove lead ions (Pb2+). We studied the effect of carbon nanofiber dose, pH, contact time and agitation speed on the sorption capacity. The best conditions were with nanofiber dose of 0.25 g/L, pH of 5.5, contact time of 60 min and agitation speed of 200 rpm. The nanocomposite product was also used for the removal of lead from industrial wastewater. We also found a successful removal of 67 % of lead ions from semiconductor wastewater sample.


Powdered activated carbon Carbon nanofibers Optimization Sorption capacity Semiconductor industrial wastewater 



The authors are grateful to The Ministry of Higher Education, Government of Malaysia, for funding this project by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme with Grant No. FRGS 0106-42 administrated by the Ministry.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Architecture and Built EnvironmentLimkokwing University of Creative TechnologyCyberjayaMalaysia
  2. 2.Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Research Group NANORG, Faculty of EngineeringInternational Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)Kuala LumpurMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Nanotechnology and Catalysts Research Center (NANOCAT)University of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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