A carbonaceous sorbent was prepared from rice husk via sulfuric acid treatment. Sorption of Zn(II) and Hg(II) from aqueous solution was studied varying time, pH, metal concentration, temperature and sorbent status (wet and dry). Zn(II) sorption was found fast reaching equilibrium within ∼2 h while Hg(II) sorption was slow reaching equilibrium within ∼120 h with better performance for the wet sorbent than for the dry. Kinetics data for both metals were found to follow pseudo-second order model. Sorption rate of both metals was enhanced with temperature rise. Activation energy, Ea, for Zn(II) sorption, was ∼13.0 kJ/mol indicating a diffusion-controlled process ion exchange process, however, for Hg(II) sorption, Ea was ∼54 kJ/mol indicating a chemically controlled process. Sorption of both metals was low at low pH and increased with pH increase. Sorption was much higher for Hg(II) than for Zn(II) with higher uptake for both metals by rising the temperature. Hg(II) was reduced to Hg(I) on the sorbent surface. This was confirmed from the identification of Hg2Cl2 deposits on the sorbent surface by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. However, no redox processes were observed in Zn(II) sorption. Sorption mechanism is discussed.
- Ion exchange
- Rice husk
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis