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Preparation of an adsorbent by graft polymerization of acrylamide onto coconut husk for mercury(II) removal from aqueous solution and chloralkali industry wastewater

Authors

  • M. K. Sreedhar,

    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Kerala, Kariavattom, Thiruvananthapuram, Pin - 695 581, India
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  • T. S. Anirudhan

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, University of Kerala, Kariavattom, Thiruvananthapuram, Pin - 695 581, India
    • Department of Chemistry, University of Kerala, Kariavattom, Thiruvananthapuram, Pin - 695 581, India
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Abstract

Graft copolymerization of acrylamide onto coconut husk (CH), initiated by the ferrous ammonium sulfate/H2O2 redox initiator system, was studied. To determine the optimum conditions of grafting, the effect of the concentrations of ferrous ammonium sulfate, the monomer, and H2O2 and the time and temperature on percentage of the graft yield was studied. A new adsorbent media having a carboxylate functional group was synthesized by the surface modification of polymer-grafted coconut husk (PGCH[BOND]COOH). The mechanism of graft polymerization and surface functionalization is proposed. The material exhibits a very high adsorption potential for Hg(II). The sorption of Hg(II) was found to be dependent on the contact time, concentration, pH, and temperature. Maximum removal of 99.4% with 2 g/L of the sorbent was observed at 125 μmol L−1 Hg(II) concentration at pH 6.0. The slow step which determines the rate of exchange of Hg(II) ions is diffusion through the adsorbent particles. The diffusion coefficients, energy of activation, and entropy of activation were calculated and used to determine the theoretical behavior of the sorption process. The applicability of the Langmuir isotherm established the endothermic character of the adsorption. Acid regeneration was tried for several cycles with a view to recover the adsorbed metal ions and also to restore the sorbent to its original state. The adsorbent efficiency toward Hg(II) removal was tested using synthetic and chloralkali industry wastewaters. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 75: 1261–1269, 2000

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