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Waste Manag. 2010 Feb;30(2):308-15. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2009.08.010. Epub 2009 Sep 26.

Poultry litter-based activated carbon for removing heavy metal ions in water.

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Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Delaware State University, Dover, DE 19901, United States.


Utilization of poultry litter as a precursor material to manufacture activated carbon for treating heavy metal-contaminated water is a value-added strategy for recycling the organic waste. Batch adsorption experiments were conducted to investigate kinetics, isotherms, and capacity of poultry litter-based activated carbon for removing heavy metal ions in water. It was revealed that poultry litter-based activated carbon possessed significantly higher adsorption affinity and capacity for heavy metals than commercial activated carbons derived from bituminous coal and coconut shell. Adsorption of metal ions onto poultry litter-based carbon was rapid and followed Sigmoidal Chapman patterns as a function of contact time. Adsorption isotherms could be described by different models such as Langmuir and Freundlich equations, depending on the metal species and the coexistence of other metal ions. Potentially 404 mmol of Cu2+, 945 mmol of Pb2+, 236 mmol of Zn2+, and 250-300 mmol of Cd2+ would be adsorbed per kg of poultry litter-derived activated carbon. Releases of nutrients and metal ions from litter-derived carbon did not pose secondary water contamination risks. The study suggests that poultry litter can be utilized as a precursor material for economically manufacturing granular activated carbon that is to be used in wastewater treatment for removing heavy metals.

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