Natural bituminous coal was used as a precursor in the synthesis of different modified products. The modification of coal was performed by treating it with nitric acid (N-coal), coating its surface by zinc oxide nanoparticles (Z-coal), and converting it into porous graphite (PG). The effect of modification processes on the structures, morphologies, and optical properties was followed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectrum (FT-IR), and UV/VIS spectrophotometer analysis. The surface of N-coal grains becomes smoother than the surface of raw coal grains due to the removal of the associated impurities and the formation of nitrogen function groups. For Z-coal, the whole surface of coal grains appears to be completely covered by agglomerated ZnO nanoparticles of massive density and irregular shapes. The average crystallite size of the formed ZnO is ~22.2 nm and density of dislocations is 2.029 × 10−3 dislocation/nm2. Also, the removal of safranin-T dye by natural bituminous coal and its modified forms was investigated as a function of contact time, adsorbent mass, initial dye concentration, and pH value. At pH 8, the PG showed higher efficiency (96%) than Z-coal (93.5%), N-coal (74.5%), and natural coal (62%) after 2 h for 0.1 g on 100 mg/L dye. The obtained results are well fitted by pseudo-second-order kinetic than by intraparticle diffusion and Elovich kinetic models for the adsorption by N-coal, Z-coal, and PG, whereas the adsorption by raw coal is well fitted with both pseudo-second-order and Elovich kinetic models. The Langmuir isotherm model fits well the equilibrium adsorption isotherm of safranin by raw coal and its modified forms. The values of maximum adsorption capacity were calculated for raw coal, N-coal, Z-coal, and PG to be 21.3, 27.4, 32.46, and 33.67 mg/g, respectively. A monolayer model with one energy and a monolayer model with two energies as advanced equilibrium models were investigated for more physical interpretation of the adsorption process. The calculated parameters (number of adsorbed molecules per site and number of receptor sites per unit mass) reflected the role of modification processes in the adsorption behavior of safranin.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 19, 2017
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