Sorption of Heavy Metal Ions with Activated Carbons Obtained
from Polyethylene Terephthalate Waste
N. V. Sych
Institute of Sorption and Endoecology Problems, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
Received June 9, 2008
Abstract—The sorption capacity of activated carbons obtained from polyethylene terephthalate containers and
packages with respect to heavy metal ions was examined. Based on the sorption capacities for Co
, and Zn
, the selectivity series were established for the samples prepared by conventional steam and gas
activation and by the procedure involving pretreatment with sulfuric acid.
INORGANIC SYNTHESIS AND INDUSTRIAL
ISSN 1070-4272, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2009, Vol. 82, No. 6, pp. 947–950. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2009.
Original Russian Text © N.V. Sych, 2009, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2009, Vol. 82, No. 6, pp. 893–896.
As known, accumulation of heavy metal wastes
resulted from technogenic pollution of the natural
environment represents a severe environmental hazard.
In this connection, high priority is attached now to
improving technically simple and economically attrac-
tive methods for removing technogenic pollutants from
process effluents and soils. Sorption technologies tradi-
tionally used for removing heavy metals from aqueous
solution belong to fairly efficient options . Their opti-
mization lies above all in development of inexpensive
sorbents selective to impurities to be removed. A
suitable raw material can be found in spent polymer
containers and packages accumulated in huge amounts
as a household waste polluting the environment.
In this context, of much current interest is the
application of spent polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
containers and packages as precursors for development
of an efficient sorbent for treating process effluents.
This was the subject of much investigation by both
Russian and foreign researchers [2–7]. The benefit
from PET waste processing is dual. First, plastic
containers and packages discarded annually in amounts
of thousands of tons as undesired waste can be
converted to a useful product, activated carbons.
Second, the resulting sorption materials are suitable for
wastewater treatment applications. This can contribute
to finding solutions to many of the routine problems
related to overcoming the environmental pollution.
Here, we examined the pore structure and sorption
properties of the activated carbons obtained from spent
PET containers and packages. Also, we analyzed the
selectivity of these activated carbons with respect to
heavy metal ions and assessed their suitability for
removing technogenic pollutants in the form of heavy
Activated carbon samples for our studies were
prepared from PET by pretreatment of a PET matrix
(polymer flake) with sulfuric acid (sample I), followed
by steam activation. For comparison, we used a sample
prepared by direct carbonization of a PET matrix
(sample II), followed by activation under similar
conditions. We examined sorption of the Co
, and Zn
ions from individual solutions at
the initial concentration of 50 mg l
, as well as from a
model solution simulating a multicomponent system
). Sorption tests were carried out at
рН = 4 (sol : liq = 1 : 250) for 24 h under permanent
shaking. After the sorption equilibrium was estab-
lished, the mass was filtered. The content of the metals
in the filtrate was determined by atomic-absorption
method on an S-115М spectrometer. The experimental
data were determined accurately to within 5%.
The sorption capacity was determined by the