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Ultrahigh-surface-area activated carbon aerogels derived from glucose for high-performance organic pollutants adsorption

Li, Kerui, Zhou, Minghua, Liang, Liang, Jiang, Lili, Wang, Wei
Journal of colloid and interface science 2019 v.546 pp. 333-343
activated carbon, adsorption, aerogels, doxycycline, glucose, methylene blue, microstructure, moieties, oxytetracycline, p-nitrophenol, pH, pollutants, potassium hydroxide, resorcinol, sol-gel processing, sorption isotherms, sulfamethazine, surface area
Herein, carbon aerogels (CA) were prepared by a facile and eco-friendly approach from glucose, an abundant and inexpensive sugar molecule, and further activated by potassium hydroxide. An interconnected coral-like microstructure of carbon was built up in sol–gel process, and activation process resulted in a more efficient development of microporosity and mesoporosity. Thus, activated carbon aerogels (ACA) with specific surface area up to 2413 m2·g−1 were obtained. The unique morphology, ultrahigh specific surface area, and increased functional groups rendered the obtained ACA superior adsorption capacity (194.07–1030.05 mg·g−1) for several kinds of organic pollutants, such as phenols (phenol, p-nitrophenol and resorcinol), antibiotics (tetracycline, oxytetracycline, doxycycline and sulfamethazine), and dyes (methylene blue). Among them, the adsorption of p-nitrophenol onto ACA could reach 613.34 mg·g−1 (293 K) and had a broad pH application range from 2 to 10 with good regeneration ability. The adsorption kinetics studies implied that intraparticle diffusion and pore diffusion were the limiting steps of the adsorption rate. Adsorption isotherms showed that the interaction between p-nitrophenol and ACA surface was monolayer adsorption.