Removal of Nickel from Water Using Cotton Stack KOH Activated Carbon : Adsorption Study

IJEP 43(7): 588-598 : Vol. 43 Issue. 7 (July 2023)

Ajay N. Burile and S. R. Khandeshwar*

Yashwantrao Chavan College of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Nagpur, Maharashtra – 441 110, India


Activated carbon (ACs) were prepared from the cotton stack (CS) which is a waste product of agriculture in a nitrogen atmosphere regarged as cotton stack charcoal (CSC) and another was chemically treated with potassium hydroxide called chemically activated carbon (CSK) at 600°C. The impregnation ratio was used as 1 for chemical activation. Morphology of activated carbon was examined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), surface area and porous volume were determined by BET analysis, FTIR spectroscopic method was used to determine functional group and surface chemical properties of activated carbons and pHpzc was used to determine the surface charge. Thermal gravimetry (TG) and derivative thermal gravimetry (DTG) were used to analyze the prepared activated carbon. The chemical treatment had a significant impact on the surface functional groups of biochar. Chemical activation increased metal adsorption capacity. This biochar has an adsorption capacity of more than 80% for removal of nickel at higher pH levels. Chemical activation prior to carbonization with KOH is a cost-effective method for producing an effective, low-cost adsorbent with minimal environmental impact.


Removal of nickel, Adsorption, Cotton stack, Charcoal, Pyrolysis


  1. Perisamy K. and C. Namasivayam. 1995. Removal of nickel (II) from aqueous solution and nickel plating industry wastewater using an agricultural waste: Peanut hulls. Waste Manage., 15:63-68.
  2. Inyang, M., et al. 2012. Removal of heavy metals from aqueous solution by biochars derived from anaerobically digested biomass. Bioresour. Tech., 110:50-56. DOI:10.1016/j.biotech.2012.01.072.
  3. Kadirvelu, K., K. Thamaraiselvi and C. Namasi-vayam. 2001. Adsorption of nickel (II) from aqueous solution onto actived carbon prepared from coir pith. Sep. Purif. Tech., 24:497-505.
  4. Kamih, M., et al. 2014. Heavy metals removal using activated carbon, silica and silica activated carbon composite. Energy Procedia. 50:113-120. DOI: 10.1016/j.egypro.2014.06.014.
  5. Xu, J., et al. 2014. Preparation and characterization of activated carbon from reedy grass leaves by electrical activation with H3PO4. Appl. Surf. Sci., 320:674-680. DOI: 10.1016/j.apsuse.2014.08. 178.
  6. Olawale, O.O., K.S. Obayomi and O.D. Raphac. 2020. Characterization of optimized activated carbon production from soyabeans pad. IOP Conf. Series Earth Env. Sci., 445(1):012054.
  7. Soleimani, M. and T. Kaghazehi. 2007. Agricultural waste conversion to activated carbon by chemical activation with phosphoric acid. Chem. Eng. Tech., 30:649-654.
  8. Li, K., et al. 2009. Adsorption of a p-nitroaniline from aqueous solutions onto activated carbon fiber prepared from cotton stalk. J. Hazard. Mater., 166:1180-1185.
  9. Girgis, B.S. and M.F. Ishak. 1999. Activated carbon from cotton stalks by impregnation with phosphoric acid. Mater. Lett., 39:107-114.
  10. Saka, C. 2012. BET, TG-DTG, FTIR, SEM, iodine number analysis and preparation of activated carbon from acorn shell by chemical activation with ZnCl2. J. Anal. Appl. Pyrolysis. 95:21-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaap.2011.12.020.
  11. Miao, O., et al. 2013. Activated carbon prepared from soyabean straw for phenol adsorption. J. Taiwan Inst. Chem. Eng., 44:458-465. DOI: 10.10 16/j.jtice.2012.12.006.
  12. Sud, D., G. Mahajan and M.P. Kaur. 2008. Agricultural waste material as potential adsorbent for sequestering heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions- A review. Bioresour. Tech., 99:6017-6027.
  13. Ratan, J.K., M. Kaur and B. Adiraju. 2018. Synthesis of activated carbon from agricultural waste using a simple method: Characterization, parametric and isotherms study. Mater. Today Proc., 5: 3334-3345. DOI: 10.1016/j.matrp.2017.11.576.
  14. Girgis, B.S., L.B. Khalil and T.A.M. Tawfik. 1994. Activated carbon from sugarcane bagasse by carbonization in the presence of inorganic acids. J. Chem. Tech. Biotech., 61:87-92.
  15. Tran, T.V., et al. 2017. Application of response surface methodology to optimize the fabrication of ZnCl2-activated carbon from sugarcane bagasse for the removal of Cu2+. Water Sci. Tech., 75:2047-2055.
  16. Shirvanimoghaddam, K., et al. 2019. Sustainable carbon microtube derived from cotton waste for environmental applications. Chem. Eng. J., 361: 1605-1616. DOI:10.1016/j.cej.2018.11.157.
  17. Duan, X., et al. 2017. Synthesis of activated carbon fibers from cotton by microwave induced H3PO4activation. J. Taiwan Inst. Chem. Eng., 70:374-381.
  18. Xie, Y., et al. 2019. Solar pyrolysis of cotton stalk in molten salt for biofuel production. Energy. 179: 1124-1132. DOI:10.1016/
  19. Hu, I., et al. 2017. Tubular activated carbons made from cotton stalk for dynamic adsorption of airborne toluene. J. Taiwan Inst. Chem. Eng., 80:399-405. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtice.2017.07.029.
  20. Al-Afif, R., S.S. Anayah and C. Pfiefer. 2020. Batch pyrolysis of cotton stalks for evaluation of biochar energy potential. Renew. Energy. 147:2250-2258.
  21. Nada, A.A.M.A., et al. 2006. Differential adsorption of heavy metal ions by cotton stalk carbon-exchangers containing multiple functional groups. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 101:4124-4132.
  22. Nada, A.A.M.A. and M.U. Hassan. 2003. Phosphorylated carbon-exchangers from cotton stalks and their constituents. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 89: 2950-2956.
  23. Ucar, S., et al. 2009. Preparation and characterization of activated carbon produced from pomegranate seeds by ZnCl2activation. Appl. Surf. Sci., 255:8890-8896.
  24. Deng, H., et al. 2009. Preparation and characterization of activated carbon from cotton stalk by microwave assistedchemical activation-Application in Methylene Blue adsorption from aqueous solution. J. Hazard. Mater., 166:1514-1521.
  25. ASTM D121. 2015. Standard terminology of coal and coke. ASTM International.
  26. Korde, S., S. Tandekar and R.N. Jugade. 2020. Novel mesoporous chitosan-zirconia-ferrosoferric oxide as magnetic composite for defluoridation of water. J. Env. Chem. Eng., 8:104360. DOI: 10.101 6/j.jece.2020.104160.
  27. Gupta, S. and A. Kumar. 2019. Removal of nickel (II) from aqueous solution by biosorption on A. barbadensis Miller waste leaves powder. Appl. Water Sci., 9:1-11. DOI: 10.1007/s13201-019-0973.
  28. Ozdemir, M., et al. 2011. Preparation and characterization of activated carbon from cotton stalks in a two-stage process. Anal. Appl. Pyrolysis. 92: 171-175.
  29. Hamdaoui, O. and L. Naffrechours. 2007. Modelling of adsorption isotherm of phenol and chloro-phenols onto granular activated carbon. Part I: Two-parameter models and equations allowing determination of thermodynamic parameters. J. Hazard. Mater., 147:381-394.
  30. Huang, L.H., et al. 2011. Adsorption behaviour of NI (II) on lotus derived active carbon by phophoric acid activation. Desalination. 268:12-19.
  31. Umesh, D., et al. 2015. Physico-chemical properties of cotton stalk biomass from agricultural residues. Curr. World Env., 10:343-349.
  32. Sing, K.S.W., et al. 2004. Physiosorption hysteresis loops and the characterization of nanoporous materials. Adsorp. Sci. Tech., 22:773-782.
  33. Yao, H., O. Dai and Z. You. 2015. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy characterization aging-related properties of original and nano-modified asphalt binders. Constr. Build. Mater., 101:1078-1087. DOI: 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2015.10.085.
  34. Salame, I.I. and T.J. Bandosz. 2001. Surface chemistry of activated carbon: Combining the results of temperature-programmed desorption, Boehm and potentiometric titrations. J. Colloid Interface Sci., 240:252-258.
  35. Thue, P.S., et al. 2020. Sigle-step pyrolysis for producing magnetic activated carbon from tucuma (Astrocaryum aculeatum) seed and nickel (II) chloride and zinc (II) chloride. Application for removal of nicotinamide and propanolol. J. Hazard. Mater., 398:122903. DOI: 10.1016/j.hazmat.2020.122 903.
  36. Ncibi, M.C. 2008. Applicability of some statistical tools to predict optimum adsorption isotherm after linear and non-linear regression analysis. J. Hazard. Mater., 153:207-212.
  37. Suranek, M., et al. 2021. Removal of nickel from aqueous solutions by natural bentonites from Slovakia. Mater. (Basel). 14:1-14.
  38. Prajapati, S.S., P.A.M. Najar and V.M. Tangde. 2016. Removal of phosphate using red mud: An environmentally hazardous waste by products of alumina industry. Adv. Phys. Chem.
  39. Anab, I. and N. Astrini. 2018. Isotherm adsorption studies of Ni (II) ion removal from aqueous solutions by modified carboxymethyl cellulose hydrogel. IOP Conf. Series Earth Env. Sci., 160(1): 012017.