Low cost adsorbents from agricultural waste like rice husk was developed with various activation methods and tested for the removal of aqueous contaminants. Adsorption of a basic dye, malachite green (MG), from aqueous solution onto nitric acid treated (NRH), and peroxide treated rice husk (PRH) have been investigated. Various experiments were studied using batch adsorption technique under different conditions of pH, adsorbent dosage, initial dye concentration, and temperature. The adsorption capacities of MG by the NRH and PRH were essentially due to electrostatic forces. The NRH and PRH adsorbents had a relatively large adsorption capacity (18.1 and 26.6 mg/g). The adsorbent PRH had a higher surface charge at alkaline pH and enhanced removal of MG was obtained under alkaline conditions. Typical adsorption kinetics indicated the pseudo second-order kinetics behavior. The adsorption isotherms obeys Langmuir isotherm model. It was observed that the rate of adsorption improves with increasing temperature and the process is endothermic nature. The negative value of the change in Gibbs free energy (ΔG°) indicates that the adsorption of MG on PRH and NRH is feasible and spontaneous. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 33: 38–46, 2014
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