Preparation of an Adsorbent from Pumice Stone and Its Adsorption Potential for Removal of Toxic Recalcitrant Contaminants

Ghorban Asgari, Ali Reza Rahmani


Background: In recent years, proficient treatment of wastewaters containing recalcitrant and toxic compounds such as phenol has been a challenge. This study introduced and evaluated an efficient option for treating such wastewater.

Methods: This experimental study was performed on phenol removal as a recalcitrant and toxic compound in aqueous solutions in 2011. The pumice stone was collected from a local mine. Collected samples were crushed and granulated using standard sieves (mesh size of 20). CuSO4 was used to modify prepared samples. The chemical composition and the surface area of the modified pumice were evaluated using X-ray fluorescence and N2 gas via Brunauer-Emmett-Teller isotherm and Belsorb software. Different parameters including of pH (3-12), contact time (20-120 min), phenol concentration (25-400 mg/L) and adsorbent dosage (0.25-1 g/L) were examined in a batch reactor.

Results: 93.5% of the phenol was removed under optimum experimental conditions of pH 3 and a 0.5 g/L adsorbent dose after 60 min contact time. The experimental adsorption isotherm the best fit with Freundlich equation model. The maximum amount of phenol adsorption onto modified pumice (MP) was 15.8 mg/g.

Conclusion: Modified pumice is effective adsorbent for the removal of phenol from aqueous solution. Accordingly, it is feasible and promise adsorbent for treating polluted phenol streams.


Adsorption; Copper; Recalcitrant; Phenol; Pumice

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