The physical and surface chemical characteristics of activated carbons and the adsorption of methylene blue from wastewater

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Colloid Interface Sci, Volume 284, Number 2, p.440-6 (2005)


0021-9797 (Print)

Accession Number:



Adsorption, Carbon/ chemistry, Coloring Agents/chemistry, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Methylene Blue/ chemistry, Molecular Structure, Spectrum Analysis, Surface Properties, Water Pollutants, Chemical/ analysis, Water Purification/methods, Water/ chemistry, X-Rays


Adsorption of a basic dye, methylene blue, from aqueous solutions onto as-received activated carbons and acid-treated carbons was investigated. The physical and surface chemical properties of the activated carbons were characterized using BET-N(2) adsorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and mass titration. It was found that acid treatment had little effect on carbon textural characteristics but significantly changed the surface chemical properties, resulting in an adverse effect on dye adsorption. The physical properties of activated carbon, such as surface area and pore volume, have little effect on dye adsorption, while the pore size distribution and the surface chemical characteristics play important roles in dye adsorption. The pH value of the solution also influences the adsorption capacity significantly. For methylene blue, a higher pH of solution favors the adsorption capacity. The kinetic adsorption of methylene blue on all carbons follows a pseudo-second-order equation.


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