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J Hazard Mater. 2007 Jul 16;145(3):381-90. Epub 2006 Nov 19.

Removal of chromium ions from [corrected] aqueous solutions by adsorption on activated carbon and char.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, P. le Tecchio, 80-80125 Naples, Italy.

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  • J Hazard Mater. 2007 Oct;149(1):245.


Adsorption isotherms of chromium ions in aqueous solution have been experimentally measured on a granular activated carbon (GAC) and on a char of South African coal (CSAC). Experimental results show that the adsorption capacity for the GAC strongly depends on solution pH and salinity, with maximum values around 7mg/g at neutral pH and low salinity levels. On the contrary, the CSAC shows a smaller adsorption capacity, near 0.3mg/g, which slightly decreases by increasing pH and salinity levels. Chromium adsorption mainly depends on the availability of chromium ions in solution and on the occurrence of redox reactions between the surface groups and the Cr(VI) which lead to the formation of Cr(III). The reduction of Cr(VI) and the following sorption of Cr(III) cations appears as the leading mechanism for chromium uptake on the CSAC. A similar behaviour can be observed for the GAC at pH below 3. On the contrary, at pH>7, the multicomponent competitive adsorption of Cr(VI), OH(-) and Cl(-) has to be considered.

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