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Hierarchical porous cellulose/activated carbon composite monolith for efficient adsorption of dyes

Bai, Qiuhong, Xiong, Qiancheng, Li, Cong, Shen, Yehua, Uyama, Hiroshi
Cellulose 2017 v.24 no.10 pp. 4275-4289
activated carbon, adsorbents, adsorption, alkaline hydrolysis, cellulose, cellulose acetate, methylene blue, pH, separation, sorption isotherms, surface area, temperature, toxicity, wastewater
Cheap and efficient adsorbents to remove contaminants of toxic dye molecules from wastewater are strongly in demand for environmental reasons. This study provides a novel design of a monolithic adsorbent from abundant materials via a facile synthetic procedure, which can greatly reduce the problems of the tedious separation of adsorbents from treated wastes. A hierarchically porous cellulose/activated carbon (cellulose/AC) composite monolith was prepared by thermally-induced phase separation of cellulose acetate in the presence of AC, using a mixture of DMF and 1-hexanol, followed by alkaline hydrolysis. The composite monolith had alarge specific surface area with mesopore distribution. It not only showed high uptake capacity towards methylene blue (MB) or rhodamine B (RhB) but could also simultaneously adsorb MB and RhB from their mixture, in which the adsorption of one dye was not influenced by the other one. Remarkable effects of solution pH, initial concentration of dye (C ₀), contact time, adsorbent dosage and temperature on the adsorption of MB and RhB onto the composite monolith were demonstrated. The binding data for MB and RhB adsorption on the composite monolith fitted the Freundlich model well, suggesting a heterogeneous surface of the composite monolith. The monolith could retain around 90% of its adsorption capacity after 8 times reuse. These data demonstrate that the cellulose/AC composite monolith has a large potential as a promising adsorbent of low cost and convenient separation for dye in wastewater.