Indexed on: 03 Feb '09Published on: 03 Feb '09Published in: Journal of Hazardous Materials
The effects of oxidation using HNO(3) on the properties of the carbonized wheat and barley straw were investigated by measuring different properties such as specific surface area, PZC, total surface acidic groups as well as FTIR and TG-DTA. A small decrease in the specific surface area due to pore blockage was observed after oxidation. After oxidation, the acidity was increased considerably and the point of zero charge shifted from approximately pH 9 to pH 2 in both types of carbon. By the oxidation of the carbon with nitric acid, carboxylic groups were produced as shown by absorption peaks at 1750 cm(-1) in the FTIR spectra. Boehm titration results showed that the number of carboxyl groups increased by approximately 11-fold after oxidation. The oxidized carbon samples were compared with the unoxidized original carbon samples for Cr(III) adsorption. It was observed that the oxidized carbons exhibit high adsorption efficiencies for Cr(III) ions compared to the original carbonized straws and this can be correlated to the decrease in PZC which is mainly due to the increase in carboxylic functional groups in the oxidized carbonized straws and these are responsible for their cation ion exchange phenomenon.