Waste cigarette filters: activated carbon as a novel sorbent for uranium removal

  • Dongdong Pu
  • Ying Kou
  • Ling Zhang
  • Bo Liu
  • Wenkun Zhu
  • Lin Zhu
  • Tao DuanEmail author


Uranium is important in the nuclear fuel cycle as both as an energy source and as radioactive waste. Herein, activated carbon (AC) prepared from waste cigarette filters by convenient carbonization and functionalization was chosen as the raw materials for radionuclides adsorption. Batch adsorption experiments showed that AC presented comparable UO22+ adsorption capacity (106 mg g−1) and very outstanding selectivity. The adsorption process accorded with Langmuir model and the pseudo-second-order kinetics model well. This work combines the waste cigarette filters with the radioactive nuclear treatment materials, which may provide a new strategy for the future treatment of waste cigarette butts.


Cigarette filter Activated carbon Uranium Sorption 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21671160, 21601147); the National Key Research and Development Project (2016YFC1402502); the Project of State Key Laboratory of Environment-friendly Energy Materials, Southwest University of Science and Technology (18zxhk04); the Long Shan Talent Project (17LZX306, 17LZXT04).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10967_2019_6502_MOESM1_ESM.docx (25 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 26 kb)


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Environment-Friendly Energy Materials, School of National Defence Science and TechnologySouthwest University of Science and TechnologyMianyangChina
  2. 2.National Collaborative Innovation Center for Nuclear Waste and Environmental SafetySouthwest University of Science and TechnologyMianyangChina

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