Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 4111–4124 | Cite as

Low-cost adsorbents from bio-waste for the removal of dyes from aqueous solution

  • P. Manoj Kumar Reddy
  • Sk. Mahammadunnisa
  • B. Ramaraju
  • B. Sreedhar
  • Ch. SubrahmanyamEmail author
Research Article


Activated carbons (ACs) were developed from bio-waste materials like rice husk and peanut shell (PS) by various physicochemical activation methods. PS char digested in nitric acid followed by treatment at 673 K resulted in high surface area up to ∼585 m2/g. The novelty of the present study is the identification of oxygen functional groups formed on the surface of activated carbons by infrared and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and quantification by using temperature programmed decomposition (TPD). Typical TPD data indicated that each activation method may lead to varying amounts of acidic and basic functional groups on the surface of the adsorbent, which may be a crucial factor in determining the adsorption capacity. It was shown that ACs developed during the present study are good adsorbents, especially for the removal of a model textile dye methylene blue (MB) from aqueous solution. As MB is a basic dye, H2O2-treated rice husk showed the best adsorption capacity, which is in agreement with the acidic groups present on the surface. Removal of the dye followed Langmuir isotherm model, whereas MB adsorption on ACs followed pseudo-second-order kinetics.


Rice husk Peanut shell Activated carbon Methylene blue Adsorption Surface analysis 

Supplementary material

11356_2012_1360_MOESM1_ESM.docx (152 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 152 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Manoj Kumar Reddy
    • 1
  • Sk. Mahammadunnisa
    • 1
  • B. Ramaraju
    • 1
  • B. Sreedhar
    • 2
  • Ch. Subrahmanyam
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryIndian Institute of TechnologyHyderabadIndia
  2. 2.Inorganic Chemistry DivisionIndian Institute of Chemical TechnologyHyderabadIndia

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