Cu2+ ion reduction in wastewater over RDF-derived char

Hyung Won Lee, Rae Su Park, Sung Hoon Park, Sang Chul Jung, Jong Ki Jeon, Sang Chai Kim, Jin Do Chung, Won Geun Choi, Young Kwon Park

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10 Scopus citations


Refuse-derived fuel (RDF) produced using municipal solid waste was pyrolyzed to produce RDF char. For the first time, the RDF char was used to remove aqueous copper, a representative heavy metal water pollutant. Activation of the RDF char using steam and KOH treatments was performed to change the specific surface area, pore volume, and the metal cation quantity of the char. N2 sorption, Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy were used to characterize the char. The optimum pH for copper removal was shown to be 5.5, and the steam-treated char displayed the best copper removal capability. Ion exchange between copper ions and alkali/alkaline metal cations was the most important mechanism of copper removal by RDF char, followed by adsorption on functional groups existing on the char surface. The copper adsorption behavior was represented well by a pseudo-second-order kinetics model and the Langmuir isotherm. The maximum copper removal capacity was determined to be 38.17 mg/g, which is larger than those of other low-cost char adsorbents reported previously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalCarbon Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2016


  • Activation
  • Adsorption
  • Char
  • Pyrolysis


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