University of Oulu

Zbair, M., Ainassaari, K., Drif, A. et al. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2018) 25: 1869.

Toward new benchmark adsorbents : preparation and characterization of activated carbon from argan nut shell for bisphenol A removal

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Author: Zbair, Mohamed1,2,3; Ainassaari, Kaisu2; Drif, Asmaa1;
Organizations: 1Laboratory of Catalysis and Corrosion of Materials (LCCM), Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences of El Jadida, University of Chouaïb Doukkali, BP 20, 24000 El Jadida, Morocco
2Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3Laboratory of Hydrothermal Carbonization Process, Umwelt-Campus Birkenfeld, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Trier, Germany
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-11-04


The use of argan nut shell as a precursor for producing activated carbon was investigated in this work. Two activated carbons AC-HP and AC-Na were prepared from argan nut shell by chemical activation method using phosphoric acid (H₃PO₄) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH), respectively. Textural, morphological, and surface chemistry characteristics were studied by nitrogen physisorption, TGA, SEM, TXRF, FTIR, XRD, and by determining the pHPZC of the AC-HP. The adsorption experiments revealed that AC-HP was more efficient in adsorption of BPA due to high specific surface area (1372 m²/g) compared to AC-Na (798 m²/g). The obtained adsorption data of BPA on AC-HP correlated well with the pseudo-second-order model and the Langmuir isotherm (Qmax = 1250 mg/g at 293 K). The thermodynamic parameters (Δ < 0, Δ < 0, and Δ < 0) indicate that adsorption of BPA on AC-HP was spontaneous and exothermic in nature. The regeneration of AC-HP showed excellent results after 5 cycles (95–93%). This work does not only provide a potential way to use argan nut shell but also represents a sustainable approach to synthesize AC-HP, which might be an ideal material for various applications (energy storage, catalysis, and environmental remediation).

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Series: Environmental science and pollution research
ISSN: 0944-1344
ISSN-E: 1614-7499
ISSN-L: 0944-1344
Volume: 25
Issue: 2
Pages: 1869 - 1882
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-017-0634-6
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Funding: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme [FP/2007-2013) under the grant agreement no. [PIRSES-GA-2012-317714]. No-Waste. The work has been supported also by the Academy of Finland via the AOPI-project (number 263580).
EU Grant Number: (317714) NO-WASTE - Utilization of Industrial By-products and Waste in Environmental Protection
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 263580
Detailed Information: 263580 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Environmental science and pollution research. The final authenticated version is available online at: