Synthesis of Activated Carbon from Sugarcane Bagasse and Application for Mercury Adsorption

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Department of Chemical Engineering, Marvdasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, Marvdasht, Iran


With the growth and development of chemical plants, the amount of mercury released in wastewater has increased. Mercury in wastewater contains harmful compounds which are hazardous to the human health and living organisms. Therefore, its removal from wastewater is significant. There are various techniques or methods available for removing mercury from aqueous solutions. This study focused upon the removal of mercury from aqueous solution with commercial activated carbon and activated carbon from sugarcane bagasse.  Activated carbon produced from sugarcane bagasse was used as adsorbent. This adsorbent was used to remove mercury from aqueous solution. For this purpose, first, the optimal mercury solution pH for mercury removal was obtained. Effective parameters such as contact time, initial concentration of mercury, adsorbent dose and agitation speed were investigated. The mercury adsorption was increased when the mass of activated carbon was increased. Increasing the initial mercury concentration leads to decrease in mercury adsorption efficiency. The results of experiments indicated that the speed of the stirrer was not considered to be an effective factor in the mercury adsorption. Experiments were also carried out on a commercial activated carbon. Adsorption results obtained for sugarcane bagasse activated carbon were compared with commercial activated carbon.  The adsorption efficiency was increased as the contact time was increased.  Finally, the experiment was carried out on water samples released from South Pars platforms. In addition to the mercury removal, other heavy metals removal such as lead and cadmium were also carried out.


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