Removal of phenol by activated carbons prepared from palm oil mill effluent sludge

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Environ Sci (China), Volume 18, Number 3, p.446-52 (2006)


1001-0742 (Print)

Accession Number:



Adsorption, Charcoal/ chemistry, Hot Temperature, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Kinetics, Phenols/analysis/ chemistry/isolation & purification, Plant Oils/ chemistry, Waste Disposal, Fluid/ methods


The study was attempted to produce activated carbons from palm oil mill effluent (POME) sludge. The adsorption capacity of the activated carbons produced was evaluated in aqueous solution of phenol. Two types of activation were followed, namely, thermal activation at 300, 500 and 800 degrees C, and physical activation at 15 degrees C (boiling treatment). A control (raw POME sludge) was used to compare the adsorption capacity of the activated carbons produced. The results indicated that the activation temperature of 800 degrees C showed maximum absorption capacity by the activated carbon (POME 800) in aqueous solution of phenol. Batch adsorption studies showed an equilibrium time of 6 h for the activated carbon of POME 800. It was observed that the adsorption capacity was higher at lower values of pH (2-3) and higher value of initial concentration of phenol (200-300 mg/L). The equilibrium data were fitted by the Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherms. The adsorption of phenol onto the activated carbon POME 800 was studied in terms of pseudo- first and second order kinetics to predict the rate constant and equilibrium capacity with the effect of initial phenol concentrations. The rate of adsorption was found to be better correlation for the pseudo-second order kinetics compared to the first order kinetics.


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