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ISSN:  1579-­4377  

ADSORPTION OF HEAVY METALS USING ACTIVATED CARBON


DERIVED FROM CARICA PAPAYA SEED
*1
Omeiza, F. S., 2Okunola O. J. 3Wyasu, G., 4Magaji, L
1
Department of Chemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Nigeria
2
National Research Institute for Chemical Technology, P. M. B. 1052, Zaria, Nigeria
3
Department of Science Laboratory Technology, Federal Polytechnic
Kaura Namoda, Zamfara state.
4
Ministry of Mines and Steel, Abuja, Nigeria
omsafo@yahoo.com/okunolaoj@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Activated carbons were prepared from carica papaya seeds with particle sizes ranging from
355 – 835µm. 0.1M H3PO4 and ZnCl2 were each used for chemical activation at 3minutes
residence time and at 7500C.This was after carbonizing the source material at 5000C and also
residence time of 5 minutes. The adsorption of copper and lead from aqueous solution onto
ZnCl2 and H3PO4 activated carbons was studied and assessed for the possibility of using the
source materials for the removal of heavy metals from aqueous solution. The effect of
varying the particle size of the activated carbons and the type of activating agents on the
adsorption capacity were evaluated. The results indicate a difference in the uptake for the
activated carbons as well as for the carbonized or raw materials. Little adsorption took place
when raw material was used for the adsorption of the metals. The results indicated that the
activity of 0.10M H3PO4 and 0.10M ZnCl2 activated carbons with particle size of less than
355µm gave the highest adsorption capacities; with ZnCl2 activated carbons exhibiting better
adsorption capability than H3PO4 – activated carbons. This work has shown that carica
papaya seed can be used to remove these two metals from aqueous solution.

KEYWORDS

Activated carbon, H3PO4 – activated carbons, Zncl2 activated carbons.


Omeiza, F. S. et al. EJEAFChe, 9 (10), 2010. [1567-1571]

INTRODUCTION

Since some heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, chromium, zinc, copper etc are toxic and
may be found in both surface and underground water. A wide variety of Agricultural by
product and agricultural wastes comprising mostly cellulose materials were tried by different
works for the removal of toxic metals from aqueous solutions. This include cassava fibre, [1]
Biomass of fungi and yeast [2], Horse shoe sea crab shell [3], Rice husk [4] saw dust [5] etc.
However, a comprehensive list of naturally occurring adsorbents for removal of dyes and
heavy metals can be obtained from [6].
The purpose of this work is to evaluate the adsorption capacity of activated carbon
from carica papaya seed on some toxic metals, that is, activated carbon will be prepared
from carica papaya seed and will be used to check the removal or adsorption of cadmium
ions from aqueous solution. It is also the intention of this work to compare and establish the
ability of H3PO4 and ZnCl2 as activating agents for the purpose of producing activated
carbon from carica papaya seed.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

MATERIAL

Carica papaya seed were collected from different markets in Zaria and Kano, Nigeria. They
were washed, air dried, grinded and sieved into particle sizes of less than 355, 425 and
835µm. All other reagents are of analytical grade and were used without further purification.

PROCEDURE FOR CARBONIZATION AND ACTIVATION

The sample were carbonized and activated by the two steps method according to Salami and
Adekola [8]. 2.00g of raw carica papaya seed sample was weighed into preweighed crucibles
and placed in a carbolite furnance at 5000C for 3 minutes to carbonize it as shown below;
500°C, 3minutes
Raw-carica papaya seed C (s)+ CO2 (Carbonization)
Δ

AA, 750°C, 5minutes


Carbonized-carica papaya seed AC + CO2 (Activation)
Δ
The above processes were repeated until a substantial amount was obtained. It was
allowed to cool in H2O and allowed to dry at room temperature and stored in dry polythene
bags. Where AA represent Activating Agent and AC represent Activated Carbon.
Other reagents used were prepared using standard methods.

ADSORPTION TEST USING Pb2+ AND Cu2+

1.00g each of the raw material, the carbonized and the activated samples was weighed into
250cm3 conical flask. 50cm3 of the 1000ppm stock solution of Cu2+ and Pb2+ was added.
Each mixture was shaken thoroughly with a Griffin model electric shaker for an hour to

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attain equilibrium. Thereafter, the different supernatant were filtered and the concentration
remaining in the filtrate were determined using JENWAYS Atomic Absorption
Spectrophotometer

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Table 1: The percentage of Pb2+ adsorbed onto carica papaya seed activated with ZnCl2
Initial concentration of Final concentration of Amount of Pb2+ % of Pb2+ Particle size
2+ 2+
Pb (ppm) Pb (ppm) adsorbed (ppm) adsorbed (µm)
1000 72.66 927.34 92.73 <355
1000 300.17 699.83 69.98 425
1000 607.66 392.34 39.23 835

Table 2:The percentage of Pb2+ adsorbed onto carica papaya seed activated with H3PO4
Initial concentration of Final concentration of Amount of Pb2+ % of Pb2+ Particle size
2+ 2+
Pb (ppm) Pb (ppm) adsorbed (ppm) adsorbed (µm)
1000 88.81 911.19 91.11 <355
1000 320.00 680.00 68.00 425
1000 427.13 573.87 57.29 835

Table 3: The percentage of Cu2+ adsorbed onto carica papaya seed activated with ZnCl2
Initial concentration of Initial concentration of Amount of Cu2+ % of Cu2+ Particle size
2+ 2+
Cu (ppm) Cu (ppm) adsorbed (ppm) adsorbed (µm)
1000 476.73 523.27 52.33 <355
1000 668.90 331.10 33.11 425
1000 700.11 299.89 29.99 835

Table 4: The percentage of Cu2+ adsorbed onto carica papaya seed activated with H3PO4
Initial concentration of Initial concentration of Amount of Cu2+ % of Cu2+ Particle size
2+ 2+
Cu (ppm) Cu (ppm) adsorbed (ppm) adsorbed (µm)
1000 378.16 621.84 62.18 <355
1000 486.14 513.86 51.39 425
1000 552.18 447.82 44.78 835

Table 1 and 2 shows that the percentage of Pb2+ adsorbed onto carica papaya seeds
carbon activated with ZnCl2 and H3PO4 respectively. The result shows that ZnCl2 has better
activating activity than H3PO4. The adsorption of Pb2+ in the aqueous solution increases
with decreases in particle size. This may be explained as a result of increase in surface area
with decrease in particle size producing a large surface area for adsorption of cadmium in
aqueous solution. This is in agreement with studies by [7,8]. More so similar observation was
also observed in the case of Cu2+ adsorption from aqueous solution using H3PO4 and ZnCl2
activated carica papaya seeds as shown on Tables 3 and 4. But in this case the result shows
that H3PO4 has better activating activity than ZnCl2. This could have arisen due to the
different in the characteristics of the two cations.

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Table 5: The percentage of Pb2+ adsorbed onto carbonized carica papaya seed
Initial Initial Amount of Pb2+ % of Pb2+ Particle size (µm)
concentration of concentration of adsorbed (ppm) adsorbed
Pb2+ (ppm Pb2+ (ppm
1000 712.78 287.22 28.72 <355
1000 853.14 146.86 14.69 429
1000 888.40 111.60 11..16 835

Table 6: The percentage of Pb2+ adsorbed onto raw carica papaya seed
Initial Initial Amount of Pb2+ % of Pb2+ Particle size (µm)
concentration of concentration of adsorbed (ppm) adsorbed
Pb2+ (ppm) Pb2+ (ppm)
1000 926.48 73.52 7.35 <355
1000 957.31 42.69 4.27 425
1000 978.66 21.34 2.134 835

Table 7 : The percentage of Cu2+ adsorbed onto carbonized carica papaya seed
Initial Initial Amount of Cu2+ % of Cu2+ Particle size (µm)
concentration of concentration of adsorbed (ppm) adsorbed
Cu2+ (ppm) Cu2+ (ppm)
1000 887.11 112.89 11.29 <355
1000 943.66 56.34 5.63 425
1000 970.11 29.89 2.99 835

Table 8: The percentage of Cu2+ adsorbed onto raw carica papaya seed
Initial Initial Amount of Cu2+ % of Cu2+ Particle size (µm)
concentration of concentration of adsorbed (ppm) adsorbed
Cu2+ (ppm) Cu2+ (ppm)
1000 915.66 84.34 8.43 <355
1000 955.13 44.87 4.49 425
1000 972.40 27.60 2.76 835

Tables 5, 6, 7, 8 show control experiment. The carbonized sample and the raw forms
of various particle sizes were used for the adsorption of Cu2+ and Pb2+. The control
experiment was used to verify whether the carbonized or raw samples with similar particle
sizes could exhibit similar characteristics as the activated analogues. Hence the results for
the raw and carbonized sample were relatively low for the adsorption of Cu2+ and Pb2+
compared to the activated samples. Table 5, 6, 7, 8 shows low affinities for metals uptake in
aqueous solution when compared to that of carbonized and activated ones. The raw sample
has no sufficient exposed structure as compared to the carbonized ones while molecular
architecture of the surface has been altered during carbonization and subsequent activation.

CONCLUSION

Carbon prepared from carica papaya seed can be good source of raw material toward
utilization as a cheap and alternative source of commercial carbon that can be used for the
recycling of heavy metals waste water. The activated samples treated with H3PO4 and Zncl2
gave higher absorption of Cu2+ and Pb2+ when compared to the carbonized and raw samples.

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