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Mesoporous activated carbon-zeolite composite prepared from waste macadamia nut shell and synthetic faujasite

Surachai Wongcharee;Vasantha Aravinthan;Laszlo Erdei;School of Civil Engineering and Surveying,University of Southern Queensland;  
Novel activated carbon-zeolite composite adsorbent was prepared from macadamia shell bio-waste and synthetic zeolite X using hydrothermal treatment.Characterisation studies revealed mainly mesoporous structure with 418 m~2·g~(-1) BET surface area with faujasite clusters on the carbon carrier.Sorption capacity for methylene blue model pollutant increased from 85 to 97 mg·g~(-1) with the temperature increase from 25 to 45 ℃, and improved with increasing pH.Nonlinear regression analyses found accurate fit to the pseudo-first-order kinetics model and intra-particle diffusion rate controlling mechanism.Excellent fits to the Jovanovic isotherm model indicated monolayer coverage on chiefly homotattic surfaces with variable potential.The thermodynamic analysis confirmed spontaneous and endothermic physisorption process.The spent adsorbent was regenerated with 20% capacity loss over five reuse cycles.Although the adsorbent was developed for ammonia, heavy metal and organic matter removal from water sources, the results also indicate good performance in cationic dye removal from wastewaters.
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