JEAS  Vol.9 No.1 , March 2019
Assessment of Surfactant Modified Activated Carbon for Improving Water Quality
Abstract: Effluents containing inorganic contaminants are releasing into the environment untreated despite being hazardous to man and environment. It is costly and unsustainable to use conventional methods to remove them from dilute aqueous solution. Adsorption involving granular activated carbon is an alternative method for treating such effluents. Granular activated carbon is structurally strong, highly resistance to attrition and wearing, large and can easily separate from the effluents. However, its surface is highly hydrophobic and has little surface charge thereby reducing its adsorption capacity for anion or cation. This article reviews surfactant modification of activated carbon to enhance its adsorption capacity for inorganic contaminants and key factors affecting the adsorption efficiency. They include initial concentration of contaminants, contact time, solution pH, solution temperature, adsorbent concentration, ionic strength, competing ions, type of surfactant, and surfactant concentration. The modified activated carbon usually shows maximum contaminant uptake around its critical micelles concentration. Surfactant modification reduces specific surface area and/or micro pore volume but hot NaOH or HNO3 treatment before surfactant modification minimises this drawbacks and increases the net surface charge. Overall, surfactant modification is a simple but efficient method of enhancing adsorption capacity of activated carbon for removing anion or cation from aqueous solution. However, a handful publication is available on the regeneration of the spent (saturated) surfactant modified activated carbons. Hence, more research efforts should be directed towards proper regenerating reagents and the optimise conditions such as contact time, concentration, and temperature for regenerating spent modified activated carbons.
Cite this paper: Salam, K.A. (2019) Assessment of Surfactant Modified Activated Carbon for Improving Water Quality. Journal of Encapsulation and Adsorption Sciences, 9, 13-34. doi: 10.4236/jeas.2019.91002.

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