Adsorption characteristics of natural organic matter on activated carbons with different pore size distribution

  • H. J. GuiEmail author
  • F. S. Li
  • Y. F. Wei
  • T. Yamada
Original Paper


The adsorption characteristics of natural organic matter (NOM) were investigated on the basis of fluorescence excitation emission matrix (EEM) by using four different coal-based activated carbons (ACs). For each AC, batch adsorption isotherms were analyzed using a modified Freundlich isotherm model on the basis of the fluorescence intensity of three major fluorescence peaks appeared in the fluorescence EEM reported to be reflective of the humic acid-like (P1), fulvic acid-like (P2) and aromatic protein-like (P3) substances, respectively, together with the well-used overall quality indices of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and ultraviolet absorbance at the wavelength of 260 nm (UV260). It was found that, for all five quality indices, the adsorption capacity differed with the ACs used, and the modified Freundlich isotherm constant K estimated for P1, P2 and P3 was in close correlation with that of the total organic matter evaluated by DOC. Moreover, no matter which AC was concerned, the magnitude of the estimated K and the removal rate over a broader range of AC dose for P3 were apparently smaller than those for P1 and P2, suggesting the adsorbability of aromatic protein-like substances was lower than that of the humic acid-like and fulvic acid-like substances. The dependency of the adsorption capacity of NOM on the volume of pores in some specific size ranges of the ACs was also revealed.


Humic substances Modified Freundlich model Quality index Soil 



The authors thank Mr. Pham Xuan Thanh, a master course student of the Graduation School of Engineering at Gifu University, for his cooperation during the adsorption experiment.


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Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringXiamen University Tan Kah Kee CollegeZhangzhouChina
  2. 2.River Basin Research CenterGifu UniversityGifuJapan
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringGifu UniversityGifuJapan

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