You are on page 1of 7



(CHM 431)

Title of Experiment Surface Chemistry: Adsorption Of Acetic Acid On

Activated Carbon

No. Experiment 8

Name of student Ernie Najwa Najihah Binti Faidi

Student ID number 2017283562

Programme code AS246

Partner’s name Syeril Nurfatihah Binti Suhaimi

Date of experiment is done 6th May 2018

Date of lab report is submitted 27th May 2018

Lecturer’s name Dr. Noraini Binti Hamzah

Instructor’s name Erma Hafiza

Adsorption is a process that occurs when a gas or liquid solute accumulates on the
surface of a solid or a liquid or known as the adsorbent, forming a molecular or atomic film,
the adsorbate. It is different from absorption, in which a substance diffuses into a liquid or solid
to form a solution. Adsorption is operative in most natural physical, biological, and chemical
systems, widely used in industrial applications such as activated charcoal, synthetic resins and
water purification. Similar to surface tension, adsorption is a consequence of surface energy.
In a bulk material, all the bonding requirements of the constituent atoms of the material are
filled. But atoms on the clean surface experience a bond deficiency as they are not surrounded
by other atoms. Thus, it is energetically favourable for them to bond with whatever happens to
be available.

1. To study the adsorption isotherm of acetic acid by activated carbon

1. 250cm3 conical flask
2. 20cm3 beaker
3. Burette
4. 25cm3 pipette
5. 100cm3 measuring cylinder
6. Filter funnel
7. Retort stand
8. Parafilm

1. Activated charcoal (carbon)
2. 0.4M acetic acid, CH2COOH
3. 0.1M sodium hydroxide, NaOH
4. Phenolphthalein indicator

About 1.5 g of activated charcoal was weighed into each or the six dry glass – stoppered
flasks. A series of acetic acid of various concentration was prepared according to the Table 8.
1. A 100cm measuring cylinder was used to measure the required amount of 0.4M acetic acid
and then was diluted with distilled water to exactly the 100cm3 mark. Next, the prepared acetic
acid solution (100cm3) was poured into each of the glass – stoppered conical flask containing
charcoal. The flask was then vigorously swirled and let them stand for a week before the
solution is being filtered.

Table 8. 1: suggested volumes of 0.4M acetic acid to be diluted to 100cm3

Sample Volume 0.4M Acetic Acid (cm3)
1 100
2 75
3 50
4 25
5 10
6 5

Sample 1 2 3 4 5 6
Mass of activated 1.5047 1.5070 1.5127 1.5016 1.5030 1.5021
carbon (g)
Titration: Volume of NaOH (cm3)
Trial 1 37.1 25.5 17.1 18.6 6.4 4.0
Trial 2 33.4 26.0 17.1 19.1 6.6 3.5
Trial 3 34.8 27.3 17.0 18.7 5.9
Average volume 35.1 26.3 17.0 18.8 6.3 3.78
of NaOH (cm3)
Sample 1 2 3 4 5 6
concentration of 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.04 0.02
diluted acetic
acid (mol dm-3)
concentration of 0.351 0.263 0.17 0.0752 0.0252 9.3x10-3
diluted acetic
acid (mol dm-3)
Concentration of
acetic acid
(adsorbed) in 0.049 0.037 0.03 0.025 0.015 0.0107
equilibrium with
the adsorbent
(mol dm-3)
Amount in mole
of adsorbed 0.033 0.0017 0.00096 0.00041 0.00010 0.0000035
acetic acid per g mol/g mol/g g/mol mol/g g/mol g/mol
charcoal (y)
Log c -0.40 -0.52 -0.70 -1 -1.40 -1.70
Log y -2.68 -2.77 -3.07 -3.37 -4.0 -4.46
c/y 121.12 176.47 208.33 243.90 400 571.43
The Freudlich Isotherm Graph

The Langmuir Isotherm Graph

Absorption involves a substance being taken into a bulk of a phase, while absorption
involves a substance being taken onto a surface. The sites might include all of the atoms of the
solid surface, or might be special locations such as a “step” between two layers of atoms. It is
assumed that the total number of surface sites is fixed for a fixed amount of catalyst. The
activity level of adsorption is based on the concentration of substance in the water, the
temperature and the polarity of the substance. A polar substance (a substance which is good
soluble in water) cannot or is badly removed by active carbon, a non – polar substance can be
removed totally by active carbon. Every kind of carbon has its own adsorption isotherm and in
the water treatment business this isotherm is definite by the function of Freundlich. For this
experiment, it is influenced by the concentration of the solution. The type of adsorption involve
is chemisorptions. Concentration of solution will affect the adsorption. As the concentration
increase, the rate of adsorption will increase too. The solutions was left for six days to ensure
the adsorption process occur efficiently but for certain time, the adsorption will stop and remain
constant as the layers of charcoals are already full with acetic acid molecules.
Activated carbon is used as an adsorbent. They must have high abrasion resistance, high
thermal stability and small pore diameters, which results in higher exposed surface area and
hence high surface capacity for adsorption. The adsorbents must also have a distinct pore
structure which enables fast transport of the gaseous vapours. While doing the experiment,
some precautions step should be taken. The solution is shake properly and is filtered before
proceeding for titration and discard the initial small volume of the filtrate. Do not use wet filter
paper in filtration as it may dilute the solution
This experiment was conducted to study the adsorption isotherm of acetic acid by
activated carbon. Adsorption is usually described through isotherms, the amount of adsorbate
in the adsorbent as a function of its pressure of gas or the concentration of liquid at constant
temperature. Activated carbon is used for adsorption of organic substances and non – polar
adsorbate. It is the most widely used adsorbent. The objectives of this experiment was
successfully achieved.