International Journal of
Physical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Phys. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-1950
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPS
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2569

Full Length Research Paper

Individual and competitive adsorption of Lead(II) and Nickel(II) ions by chemically activated carbons

1Al-Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud University, Faculty of Sciences-Department of Chemistry. P. O. Box: 90950 Riyadh: 11623, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 2King Saud University, College of Engineering, Chemical Engineering Dept., P. O. Box 800 Riyadh 11421- Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 3Unité de Recherche en Mécanique des Fluides Appliquée et Modélisation, Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs de Sfax - B.P ‘W’ 3038 Sfax, Tunisie.
Email: [email protected].

  •  Published: 09 November 2012


This work deals with the removal of heavy metals from wastewater which presents a major ecological problem. Recently, this has been solved by using adsorption techniques as a means to extract heavy metal ions. The present investigation was carried out on the adsorption of heavy metals from single and binary component aqueous solutions on activated carbons. The concentrations of heavy metals ions, Ni(II) and Pb(II), ranged from 10 to 100 mg.L-1 and 10 to 200 mg.L-1, respectively. A microporous KOH-activated carbon and a commercial mesoporous carbon were used. The first part focuses on the adsorption equilibrium of single-component metal ions solution. The KOH-activated carbon showed better performance for removal of both ions than H3PO4-activated carbon. The second part deals with adsorption competition between the two metals ions. The adsorption of each respective ion in a mixture was decreased compared to the single-component metal ions. Both activated adsorbents showed higher affinity for Pb(II) ions than for Ni(II) ions. The adsorption of both metal ions on adsorbents was modelled by applying Langmuir models. In addition, it has been found that the percent removal of both metallic ions is strongly concentration dependent; for low initial concentration of Ni(II) and Pb(II) it reaches 98%, while for higher initial concentrations the percent removal drops up to 78% with better performance for CKW-activated carbon.


Key words: Activated carbon, Nickel, Lead, adsorption, binary adsorption, Langmuir, affinity.