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Comparative and competitive adsorption of Cr(VI), As(III), and Ni(II) onto coconut charcoal

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This study evaluates the behavior of coconut charcoal (AC) to adsorb Cr(VI), As(III), and Ni(II) in mono- and multicomponent (binary and ternary) systems. Batch experiments were carried out for mono- and multicomponent systems with varying metal ion concentrations to investigate the competitive adsorption characteristics. The adsorption kinetics followed the mechanism of the pseudo-second-order equation in both single and binary systems, indicating chemical sorption as the rate-limiting step of adsorption mechanism. Equilibrium studies showed that the adsorption of Cr(VI), As(III), and Ni(II) followed the Langmuir model and maximum adsorption capacities were found to be 5.257, 0.042, and 1.748 mg/g, respectively. In multicomponent system, As(III) and Ni(II) adsorption competed intensely, while Cr(VI) adsorption was much less affected by competition than As(III) and Ni(II). With the presence of Cr(VI), the adsorption capacities of As(III) and Ni(II) on AC were higher than those in single system and the metal sorption followed the order of Ni(II) > As(III) > Cr(VI). The results from the sequential adsorption–desorption cycles showed that AC adsorbent held good desorption and reusability.

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b :

Langmuir adsorption constant (liters per milligram)

C 0 :

Initial concentration of solute in solution (milligrams per liter)

C e :

Equilibrium concentration of solute in bulk solution (milligrams per liter)

E :

Mean free energy of adsorption (kilojoules per mole)

k 1 :

Equilibrium rate constant of pseudo-first-order sorption (per minute)

k 2 :

Equilibrium rate constant of pseudo-second-order sorption (grams per(milligrams per minute))

K :

Constant related to free energy (in square moles per square kilojoules)

K f :

Freundlich constant indicative of the relative sorption capacity of the sorbent (milligrams per gram)

n :

Freundlich constant indicative of the intensity of sorption

q e :

Amount of solute adsorbed per unit weight of adsorbent at equilibrium (milligrams per gram)

q t :

Amount of solute adsorbed per unit weight of adsorbent at any time (milligrams per gram)

Q m :

Monolayer maximum adsorption capacity of the sorbent (milligrams per gram)

r 2 :

Correlation coefficient

R :

Gas constant (8.314 J/(moles per Kelvin))

R L :

Langmuir separation factor

t :

Time (minute)

T :

Absolute temperature (Kelvin)

α :

Elovich constant indicative of the initial sorption rate (milligrams per (grams per minute))

β :

Desorption constant of Elovich (grams per milligram)

ε :

Polanyi potential


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Correspondence to Yunying Wu.

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Responsible editor: Vinod Kumar Gupta

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Wu, Y., Wen, Y., Zhou, J. et al. Comparative and competitive adsorption of Cr(VI), As(III), and Ni(II) onto coconut charcoal. Environ Sci Pollut Res 20, 2210–2219 (2013).

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  • Adsorption
  • Coconut charcoal
  • Equilibrium
  • Kinetics
  • Metal
  • Multicomponent
  • Single system