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Chemically treated carbon black waste and its potential applications

Dong, Pengwei, Maneerung, Thawatchai, Ng, Wei Cheng, Zhen, Xu, Dai, Yanjun, Tong, Yen Wah, Ting, Yen-Peng, Koh, Shin Nuo, Wang, Chi-Hwa, Neoh, Koon Gee
Journal of hazardous materials 2017 v.321 pp. 62-72
absorbents, adsorbents, adsorption, cell viability, cytotoxicity, electrical conductivity, gasification, heavy metals, human cell lines, leachates, leaching, lungs, nickel, nitric acid, petroleum, sodium hydroxide, soot, surface area, vanadium, wastes
In this work, carbon black waste – a hazardous solid residue generated from gasification of crude oil bottom in refineries – was successfully used for making an absorbent material. However, since the carbon black waste also contains significant amounts of heavy metals (especially nickel and vanadium), chemical leaching was first used to remove these hazardous impurities from the carbon black waste. Acid leaching with nitric acid was found to be a very effective method for removal of both nickel and vanadium from the carbon black waste (i.e. up to 95% nickel and 98% vanadium were removed via treatment with 2M nitric acid for 1h at 20°C), whereas alkali leaching by using NaOH under the same condition was not effective for removal of nickel (less than 10% nickel was removed). Human lung cells (MRC-5) were then used to investigate the toxicity of the carbon black waste before and after leaching. Cell viability analysis showed that the leachate from the original carbon black waste has very high toxicity, whereas the leachate from the treated samples has no significant toxicity. Finally, the efficacy of the carbon black waste treated with HNO3 as an absorbent for dye removal was investigated. This treated carbon black waste has high adsorption capacity (∼361.2mg dye/g carbonblack), which can be attributed to its high specific surface area (∼559m²/g). The treated carbon black waste with its high adsorption capacity and lack of cytotoxicity is a promising adsorbent material. Moreover, the carbon black waste was found to show high electrical conductivity (ca. 10S/cm), making it a potentially valuable source of conductive material.