Removal of anionic dye Congo red from aqueous solution by raw pine and acid-treated pine cone powder as adsorbent: Equilibrium, thermodynamic, kinetics, mechanism and process design
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Pine cone a natural, low-cost agricultural by-product in Australia has been studied for its potential application as an adsorbent in its raw and hydrochloric acid modified form. Surface study of pine cone and treated pine cone was investigated using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The modification process leads to increases in the specific surface area and decreases mean particle sizes of acid-treated pine cone when compared to raw pine cone biomass. Batch adsorption experiments were performed to remove anionic dye Congo red from aqueous solution. It was found that the extent of Congo red adsorption by both raw pine cone biomass and acid-treated biomass increased with initial dye concentration, contact time, temperature but decreased with increasing solution pH and amount of adsorbent of the system. Overall, kinetic studies showed that the dye adsorption process followed pseudo-second-order kinetics based on pseudo-first-order and intra-particle diffusion models. The different kinetic parameters including rate constant, half-adsorption time, and diffusion coefficient were determined at different physico-chemical conditions. Equilibrium data were best represented by Freundlich isotherm model among Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherm models. It was observed that the adsorption was pH dependent and the maximum adsorption of 32.65 mg/g occurred at pH of 3.55 for an initial dye concentration of 20 ppm by raw pine cone, whereas for acid-treated pine cone the maximum adsorption of 40.19 mg/g for the same experimental conditions. Freundlich constant ‘n’ also indicated favourable adsorption. Thermodynamic parameters such as ∆G0, ∆H0, and ∆S0 were calculated. A single-stage batch absorber design for the Congo red adsorption onto pine cone biomass also presented based on the Freundlich isotherm model equation.
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