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Clean Technologies and


Environmental Policy
Focusing on Technology Research,
Innovation, Demonstration, Insights
and Policy Issues for Sustainable
Technologies

ISSN 1618-954X

Clean Techn Environ Policy
DOI 10.1007/s10098-013-0628-0
Cadmium removal from aqueous solutions
using hybrid eucalyptus wood based
activated carbon: adsorption batch studies
G.Venkatesan, U.Senthilnathan &
Shameela Rajam
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ORI GI NAL PAPER
Cadmium removal from aqueous solutions using hybrid
eucalyptus wood based activated carbon: adsorption batch studies
G. Venkatesan

U. Senthilnathan

Shameela Rajam
Received: 5 November 2012 / Accepted: 25 April 2013
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013
Abstract Activated carbon has been equipped from wood
of Hybrid Eucalyptus. Its adsorption capacity in elimination
of cadmium from wastewater has been examined during
batch adsorption experiments. The adsorption kinetics of
this particular carbon for several factors such as adsorbent
dosage and contact time of the cadmium were identied.
The cadmium adsorption characteristics and the effect of
the initial cadmium concentration on elimination capability
were also studied. The optimum dosage of Hybrid Euca-
lyptus wood based activated carbon to remove 80 mg/L of
cadmium from aqueous solution was 1.0 g/150 mL and the
optimum contact time was 30 min. The isotherm data t
with both Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models.
Keywords Adsorbents Wastewater treatment
Cadmium Hybrid Eucalyptus Langmuir and Freundlich
isotherms
Introduction
The heavy metals such as Cadmium, Chromium, Lead,
Arsenic, Cobalt, etc. are the major poisonous substances
that are present in water bodies (Gardea-Torresdey et al.
2000). Industries like electroplating industry, dye industry,
metal nishing industry, and chemical manufacturing units
are the major principal sources of discharging the poison-
ous heavy metals into the water bodies (Bishnoi et al.
2004). Moreover, heavy metals are biologically nonde-
gradable and remain on earth for a long time (Low et al.
1999). The concentration of the heavy metals must be
lessened to permissible limits before they are discharged
into environment or else it will cause danger to the health
of human beings, animals, and plants when they consume
the polluted water (Babel and Kurniawan 2000). The ill
effects of the heavy metals on human beings, animals, and
plants vary from time to time depending on the concen-
tration and individual tness. Human beings take the poi-
sonous metals by contaminated food and drinking the
contaminated water (Hamadi et al. 2001). Large number of
treatment methods are available for the removal of Cad-
mium from industrial wastewater. They are Chemical
Precipitation, Ion Exchange, Filtration, Membrane Sepa-
ration, Adsorption, Oxidation, and Reduction. Of all the
methods, Adsorption is found to be effective and has low
cost (Nomanbhay and Palanisamy 2005; Chuah et al. 2005;
Bayrak et al. 2006; Mahvi et al. 2005).
So far, many agricultural waste materials such as Waste
Tea fungal biomass (Murugesan et al. 2006), Tamarindus
Indica seeds (Agarwal et al. 2006), Terminalia Arjuna nuts
with Zinc Chloride (Mohanty et al. 2005), Macadamia Nut
Shell (Wang et al. 2002), Fruit shell of T. Catappa (Ste-
phen Inbaraj and Sulochana 2006), Bagasse-Fly ash (Gupta
and Imran Ali 2004; Mohan and Singh 2002), Oat nut
shells (Chuang et al. 2005), Coconut coir pith (Anirudhan
and Unnithan 2007), Candida Utilis (Kujan et al. 2006),
Fucus Spiralis (Cordero et al. 2004), Platanus orientalis
(Mahvi et al. 2007), palm fruit seed (Kannan and
G. Venkatesan
Department of Civil Engineering, University College
of Engineering (BIT Campus), Tiruchirapalli, India
e-mail: gvenkat1972@gmail.com
U. Senthilnathan (&)
Department of Civil Engineering, M. A. M. College
of Engineering, Tiruchirapalli, India
e-mail: usmamce@gmail.com
S. Rajam
Department of Chemistry, Bishop Heber College,
Tiruchirapalli, India
1 3
Clean Techn Environ Policy
DOI 10.1007/s10098-013-0628-0
Author's personal copy
Thambidurai 2007), apple residues (Lee et al. 1998), Water
Hyacinth (Lee and Hardy 1987), Rice Husk (Ajmal et al.
2003; Kumar and Bandyopadhyay 2006), Maple sawdust
(Li et al. 2003), Neem Leaf powder (Bhattacharyya and
Sharma 2004), Pine Wood (Tseng et al. 2003), and Cocoa
Shells (Meunier et al. 2003) had also been tried to remove
heavy metals. Throughout the world commercial activated
carbon is used for the removal of heavy metals. The rate of
commercial activated carbon stays the industrialist away
from the treatment of the same, which occurs mainly is
developing countries and under developing countries. So
there is a need to derive an activated carbon which is
economically cheaper in cost and should be easily avail-
able. Though different researchers proposed several low
cost adsorbents, still there is a need to nd a suitable
adsorbent for the removal of Cadmium from wastewater.
Experiments were carried out to remove 80 mg/L of
Cadmium concentration from aqueous solutions using
activated carbon derived from Hybrid Eucalyptus, which is
available in the rural areas of Tamilnadu, South India.
The main objective of this study is to explain the ability
of using Hybrid Eucalyptus based activated carbon for the
removal of Cadmium from the aqueous solution.
Materials and methods
Preparation of activated carbon
The plant material Hybrid Eucalyptus was collected from
the university campus and utilized for the study. The col-
lected plant materials size was diminished by splitting into
small pieces; it was then dehydrated in an oven at a tem-
perature of 170 C for 24 h. It was then kept in an air tight
cylindrical iron container with top completely covered with
iron cover to avoid the entry of air during charring. The
sealed iron container was heated in a Mufe Furnace by
slowly increasing the temperature up to 600 C and
maintained at the same temperature for 1 h. During this
process, wood of Hybrid Eucalyptus was converted into its
carbon. The activated carbon prepared in such a manner
was crushed and sieved using 710500 lm sieve. Carbon
of intermediate size was soaked in distilled water; oven
dried and packed in an air tight container for further
experiments.
Preparation of synthetic solution
Synthetic solution of 80 mg/L cadmium concentration was
made by dissolving 143.27 mg of Cd
2
Cl
2
H
2
O in 1 L of
distilled water. Synthetic solution of 80 mg/L cadmium
concentration thus prepared was utilized for all experiments.
Experimental procedure
To study the optimum dosage and optimum contact time
for the elimination of cadmium using wood of Hybrid
Eucalyptus, eight conical asks having 150 ml of 80 mg/L
cadmium solution were taken. 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2,
1.4, and 1.6 g of wood of Hybrid Eucalyptus activated
carbon was added in each ask. These conical asks were
kept in magnetic stirrer for continuous agitation. Samples
was taken out at the period of 1060 min. Samples were
taken out from each conical ask and were kept in the test
tubes after ltering that samples using Whatman lter
paper No. 41. The remaining metal ions concentration was
estimated by UV Spectrophotometer. Experiments were
carried out to nd the optimum pH by varying the pH with
sodium hydroxide and concentrated hydrochloric acid.
Experiments were done to nd out the highest concen-
tration that can be eliminated at optimum dosage. Optimum
carbon dosage, optimum contact time, optimum pH for the
removal of cadmium using Hybrid Eucalyptus.
All the adsorption tests were done in 2022 C.
Instrumentation
Systrons 2202 double beam PC based spectrophotometer
was utilized to nd out the concentration of heavy metals.
The minimum detection value was within EPA requirement.
Fig. 1 Dosage against
percentage removal of cadmium
G. Venkatesan et al.
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Standard solution with various cadmium concentrations
was employed to standardize the instrument.
The pH meter was adjusted using buffer solutions of
values four and seven. Magnetic stirrer (KMS 450) was
used for stir up all samples for needed time.
Chemicals
Chemicals such as concentrated hydrochloric acid and
Sodium Hydroxide (Madras Scientic Company) were
used in adjusting the pH of the sample. Double distilled
water is used in all experiments.
Adsorption isotherms
For the present study the equations used (Saseetharan and
Isaac Solomon Jebamani 2005) are
a) Freundlich Isotherm
b) Langmuir Isotherm
The general form of Freundlich isotherm is
Log X=m logK
F
1=n Log C
e
1
where X/m is amount adsorbed per unit weight of adsorbent
(g/kg). C
e
is equilibrium concentration of adsorbate in
solution after adsorption (mg/L). K
F
, n is empirical
constants. The general form of Langmuir isotherm is
1= X=m 1=q
m
1=K
a
q
m
1=C
e
2
where X/m is amount adsorbed per unit weight of adsorbent
(g/kg). K
A
, q
m
is constants. C
e
is equilibrium concentration
of adsorbate in solution after adsorption (mg/L).
Result and discussion
Effect of dosage
Figure 1 shows the effect of dosage for the removal of
Cadmium concentration of 80 mg/L. From the gure, it is
apparent that the Cadmium removal percentage rises by
increasing the dosage of Hybrid eucalyptus carbon. After
some time it is observed that the percentage removal
reaches the steady state and it is illustrated in the Fig. 2.
Data obtained was presented in Tables 1 and 2. It was
observed that optimum dosage of Hybrid Eucalyptus wood
based activated carbon for the removal of cadmium ion
concentration of 80 mg/L was 1 g/150 mL and the opti-
mum time was 30 min.
Effect of pH
pH is one of the most important factor which controls the
removal of cadmium from aqueous solutions. Figure 3
indicates the effect of pHon cadmium(II) removal byHybrid
Eucalyptus. The study was conducted at 80 mg/L cadmium
concentration on adsorbent dose of 1 g/150 mLwith varying
pH from 1 to 8. From the gure it is understood that the
removal percentage increases with increase of pH and at
Fig. 2 Dosage versus percentage removal of cadmium at optimum
time30 min
Fig. 3 pH against percentage
removal of cadmium
Cadmium removal from aqueous solutions
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certain point removal percentage comes to steady state. At
pH 38 adsorption of cadmium takes place around 85 %. It
was found that optimum pH for the removal was 7.37 (Ori-
ginal pH) at optimum contact time of 30 min. Hence all the
experiments were conducted at original pH itself.
Effect of initial concentration
To illustrate the Cadmium adsorption at different concen-
trations of Cadmium, 1080 mg/L was utilized. Hybrid
Eucalyptus wood based activated carbon of 1 g/150 mL
Fig. 4 Optimum concentration
against percentage removal of
cadmium
Table 1 Effect of dosage on cadmium removal
Sl. no. Contact
time (Min)
Percentage removal of Cd removal for 150 mL
0.2 g 0.4 g 0.6 g 0.8 g 1.0 g 1.2 g 1.4 g 1.6 g
1 10 18.38 40.38 66.63 81.38 83.25 84.25 85.25 86.63
2 20 31.38 47.38 71.13 82.75 84.63 84.88 87.88 88.88
3 30 33.50 47.75 71.75 84.13 85.13 85.13 88.00 90.25
4 40 33.75 48.38 72.25 84.88 85.50 86.13 88.25 90.63
5 50 34.00 49.75 73.25 85.75 86.88 87.00 89.38 91.00
6 60 34.88 50.00 74.38 86.25 87.25 87.50 89.88 91.50
Table 2 Effect of dosage on cadmium removal at equilibrium (30 min)
Weight of adsorbent added in g/150 mL 0.2 g 0.4 g 0.6 g 0.8 g 1.0 g 1.2 g 1.4 g 1.6 g
Percentage removal of cadmium 33.50 47.75 71.75 84.13 85.13 85.13 88.00 90.25
Table 3 Data for Langmuir isotherm for cadmium removal
Sl.no Weight of
adsorbent added
(m) (mg)
Weight of cadmium
adsorbed at equilibrium
concentration (X) (mg)
Equilibrium cadmium
concentration
(Ce) (mg/L)
1/Ce
(L/mg)
X/m
(g/kg)
[1/(x/m)]
(kg/g)
1 200 2.01 53.2 0.0188 0.0100 100
2 400 2.86 41.8 0.0240 0.0071 140.8
3 600 4.31 22.6 0.0442 0.0072 138.9
4 800 5.05 12.7 0.0787 0.0063 158.7
5 1000 5.11 11.9 0.0840 0.0051 196.1
6 1200 5.11 11.9 0.0840 0.0043 232.6
7 1400 5.28 9.6 0.1042 0.0038 263.2
8 1600 5.42 7.8 0.1282 0.0034 294.1
G. Venkatesan et al.
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was added to different Cadmium concentrations and same
was kept in a magnetic stirrer for continuous agitation. The
samples were monitored for residual Cadmium concentra-
tion at an interval of 10 min up to the contact time of
60 min. The data obtained are given in Fig. 4. To dem-
onstrate the Cadmium adsorption at different concentra-
tions, a graph is plotted between contact time and
percentage removal of Cadmium (Fig. 4). From the graph
it is observed that initial concentration has marked the
inuence on adsorption potential. The percentage of Cad-
mium removal increases up to initial concentration (70 mg/
L) and reaches equilibrium state.
Isotherm study
A xed volume (150 mL) of synthetic Cadmium solution
was equilibrated with different dosages of Wood of Hybrid
Eucalyptus based activated carbon (0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0,
1.2, 1.4, 1.6 g) for 30 min. The equilibrium state for dif-
ferent Cadmium concentrations were found out from each
of the eight reactors. The data necessary for isotherm plot
for wood of Hybrid Eucalyptus based activated carbon are
given in Table 3 (Langmuir isotherm) and Table 4 (Fre-
undlich isotherm). The isotherm test data were found to be
t with Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models (Figs. 5,
6). While readings were plotted in Langmuir isotherm
model and Freundlich isotherm model it was found that R
L
value for Langmuir isotherm is 0.078 and 1/n value for
Freundlich isotherm is 0.42, which indicates to be favor-
able for adsorption of cadmium uptake.
Conclusion
Activated carbon was prepared using wood of Hybrid
Eucalyptus. Experiments were conducted in batch reactors
to evaluate the capability of this carbon to remove Cad-
mium from wastewater. The following conclusions were
drawn from the present studies on Cadmium removal
efciency on wood of Hybrid Eucalyptus based activated
carbon.
1) For the wood of Hybrid Eucalyptus activated carbon
the percentage of cadmium removal was almost the
same from pH 3 to 7.37 (original pH). Hence this
carbon can be used to remove Cadmium even in acidic
solutions and neutral solutions also. But the experi-
ments were conducted in original pH itself.
Table 4 Data for Freundlich isotherm for cadmium removal
Sl. no Weight of
adsorbent added
(m) (mg)
Weight of cadmium
adsorbed at equilibrium
concentration (X) (mg)
Equilibrium cadmium
concentration (Ce)
(mg/L)
X/m 9 10
-3
(g/kg)
Log
Ce
Log
(x/m)
1 200 2.01 53.2 0.0100 1.726 -2
2 400 2.86 41.8 0.0071 1.621 -2.15
3 600 4.31 22.6 0.0072 1.354 -2.14
4 800 5.05 12.7 0.0063 1.104 -2.2
5 1000 5.11 11.9 0.0051 1.075 -2.3
6 1200 5.11 11.9 0.0043 1.075 -2.4
7 1400 5.28 9.6 0.0038 0.982 -2.42
8 1600 5.42 7.8 0.0034 0.892 -2.5
Fig. 5 Langmuir isotherm for cadmium removal Fig. 6 Freundlich isotherm for cadmium removal
Cadmium removal from aqueous solutions
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2) Optimum dosage for the removal of 80 mg/L of
cadmium in aqueous solution is 1.0 g/150 mL at an
optimum contact time of 30 min.
3) From the isotherm study, it is observed that wood of
Hybrid Eucalyptus based activated carbon conrms
Langmuir isotherm models as the R
L
value for
Langmuir isotherm lies between 0 and 1, conrming
it to be an effective adsorbent.
4) No physical and chemical modication was done. This
may be done and removal capabilities can be
compared.
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