• Adsorption kinetics;
  • Organic compound;
  • Activated carbon;
  • Carbon nanotubes


Adsorption kinetics of two organic compounds on four types of carbonaceous adsorbents (a granular activated carbon [HD4000], an activated carbon fiber [ACF10], a single-walled carbon nanotube [SWNT], and a multiwalled carbon nanotube [MWNT]) was examined in aqueous solutions. The times needed for the adsorption to reach apparent equilibrium on the four carbons followed the order of ACF10 > HD4000 > SWNT > MWNT. Ultrasonication of the carbon nanotubes (CNTs) accelerated their adsorption kinetics but had no effect on their equilibrium adsorption capacities. The pseudo-second order model (PSOM) provided good fitting for the kinetic data. The fitting of kinetic data with the intraparticle diffusion model indicated that external mass transfer controls the sorption process in the organic compound–CNT systems, whereas intraparticle diffusion dominates in the sorption of organic compounds onto activated carbons. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2012;31:79–85. © 2011 SETAC