KOH catalysed preparation of activated carbon aerogels for dye adsorption
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Organic carbon aerogels (CAs) were prepared by a sol–gel method from polymerisation of resorcinol, furfural, and hexamethylenetetramine catalysed by KOH at around pH 9 using ambient pressure drying. The effect of KOH in the sol–gel on CA synthesis was studied. It was found that addition of KOH prior to the sol–gel polymerisation process improved thermal stability of the gel, prevented the crystallinity of the gel to graphite, increased the microporosity of CA and promoted activation of CA. The CAs prepared using the KOH catalyst exhibited higher porosity than uncatalysed prepared samples. Activation in CO2 at higher temperature also enhanced the porosity of CAs. Adsorption tests indicated that the CAs were effective for both basic and acid dye adsorption and the adsorption increased with increasing surface area and pore volume. The kinetic adsorption of dyes was diffusion control and could be described by the second-order kinetic model. The equilibrium adsorption of dyes was higher than activated carbon.
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