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Acridine orange adsorption by zinc oxide/almond shell activated carbon composite: Operational factors, mechanism and performance optimization using central composite design and surface modeling

Zbair, M., Anfar, Z., Ait Ahsaine, H., El Alem, N., Ezahri, M.
Journal of environmental management 2018 v.206 pp. 383-397
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, acridine orange, activated carbon, adsorption, almond shells, aqueous solutions, composite materials, electrostatic interactions, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, hydrogen bonding, models, pH, response surface methodology, scanning electron microscopy, sorption isotherms, surface area, temperature, thermodynamics, zinc oxide
Zinc Oxide/Activated Carbon Powder was used for the adsorptive removal of Acridine Orange dye (AO) from aqueous solution. The prepared composite material was characterized using XRD, XPS, SEM, EDS, FTIR, XRF, Raman, BET surface area and TGA/DTA. The adsorption isotherms, kinetics and thermodynamic studies of AO onto the ZnO-AC were thoroughly analyzed. The kinetic modeling data revealed that the adsorption of AO has a good adjustment to the pseudo-second-order model. Langmuir isotherm model is better fitted for adsorption data and the maximum adsorption capacity was found to be 909.1 mg/g at 313 K. The negative values of ΔG showed the spontaneous nature of the AO adsorption onto ZnO-AC. The results indicated the adsorption was pH dependent which is mainly governed by electrostatic attraction, hydrogen bonding and π–π interaction. Reusability test showed a low decrease in the removal performance of ZnO-AC due to the mesopore filling mechanism confirmed by BET analysis after adsorption. Also, thermal regeneration could deposit AO dye on the surface of the composite leading to the efficiency decrease. Finally, the effect of various parameters such as pH, temperature, contact time and initial dye concentration was studied using response surface methodology (RSM). The model predicted a maximum AO removal (99.42 ± 0.57%) under the optimum conditions, which was very close to the experimental value (99.32 ± 0.18%).