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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Special Submissions: Nonpoint Source Pollution, Environmental Quality, and Ecosystem Health in China

Removal of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons from Aqueous Solution on Soybean Stalk–based Carbon


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 40 No. 6, p. 1737-1744
    Received: July 30, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): gaoyanzheng@njau.edu.cn
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  1. Huoliang Konga,
  2. Jiao Hea,
  3. Yanzheng Gao *a,
  4. Jin Hana and
  5. Xuezhu Zhuab
  1. a Institute of Organic Contaminant Control and Soil Remediation, College of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural Univ., Nanjing 210095, China
    b Key Lab. of Non-point Sources Pollution Control, the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China, Hangzhou 310000, China. Assigned to Associate Editor Myrna Simpson


Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] stalk–based carbons were prepared by phosphoric acid activation at different carbonization temperatures. Characteristics of the prepared carbon, including specific surface area, iodine number, and amount of methylene blue sorption, were determined. Experiments on phenanthrene, naphthalene, and acenaphthene, as representatives of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), removal from aqueous solution by the prepared carbon were conducted at different levels of carbon addition. The results indicated that the specific surface area, iodine number, and amount of methylene blue sorption increased with an increase of carbonization temperature. The maximum values were observed at 700°C and were 287.63 m2 g−1, 508.99 mg g−1, and 90.14 mg g−1, respectively. The removal efficiencies of phenanthrene, naphthalene, and acenaphthene tended to increase with increasing carbon amounts and carbonization temperature. The optimal removal performance was obtained under the experimental conditions of carbon concentrations of 0.04 g 32 mL−1 and carbonization temperature of 700°C, and the removal efficiencies of phenanthrene, naphthalene, and acenaphthene were 99.89, 100, and 95.64%, respectively. The performance of the prepared carbon was superior to that of commercial activated carbon. Additionally, for the same carbon concentrations, the removal efficiency of PAHs on prepared carbons followed the order: phenanthrene > naphthalene > acenaphthene. Results obtained from this work provide some insight into the reuse of an agricultural residue, and also provide a new application for the treatment of PAHs in contaminated water utilizing activated carbon prepared from agricultural residues.

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