Efficient removal of phenol compounds from water environment using Ziziphus leaves adsorbent

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Science of the Total Environment


© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Industrial processes generate toxic organic molecules that pollute environment water. Phenol and its derivative are classified among the major pollutant compounds found in water. They are naturally found in some industrial wastewater effluents. The removal of phenol compounds is therefore essential because they are responsible for severe organ damage if they exist above certain limits. In this study, ground Ziziphus leaves were utilized as adsorbents for phenolic compounds from synthetic wastewater samples. Several experiments were performed to study the effect of several conditions on the capacity of the Ziziphus leaves adsorbent, namely: the initial phenol concentration, the adsorbent concentration, temperature, pH value, and the presence of foreign salts (NaCl and KCl). The experimental results indicated that the adsorption process reached equilibrium in about 4 h. A drop in the amount of phenol removal, especially at higher initial concentration, was noticed upon increasing the temperature from 25 to 45 °C. This reflects the exothermic nature of the adsorption process. This was also confirmed by the calculated negative enthalpy of adsorption (−64.8 kJ/mol). A pH of 6 was found to be the optimum value at which the highest phenol removal occurred with around 15 mg/g at 25 °C for an initial concentration of 200 ppm. The presence of foreign salts has negatively affected the phenol adsorption process. The fitting of the experimental data, using different adsorption isotherms, indicated that the Harkins-Jura isotherm model was the best fit, evident by the high square of the correlation coefficient (R2) values greater than 0.96. The kinetic study revealed that the adsorption was represented by a pseudo-second-order reaction. The results of this study offer a basis to use Ziziphus leaves as promising adsorbents for efficient phenol removal from wastewater.

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