Adsorptive Removal of Furfural from Wastewater on Prepared Activated Carbon from Sawdust

  • Ibtehal Kareem Shakir College of Engineering-University of Baghdad
  • Rouaa Nadhum Ghazy College of Engineering-University of Baghdad
Keywords: Furfural, adsorption, activated carbon, sawdust, wastewater.


Furfural is a toxic aromatic aldehyde that can cause a severe environmental problem especially the wastewater drown from petroleum refinery units. In the present work, a useless by-product from local furniture manufacturing industry; sawdust was used as raw material for the preparation of activated carbon which is chemically activated with phosphoric acid. The effect of adsorption variables which include initial pH of solution (2-9), agitation speed (50-250) rpm, agitation time (15-120) min, initial concentration of furfural (50-250) ppm, and amount of adsorbent material (0.5-2.5) g for the three adsorbents used (prepared activated carbon, commercial activated carbon and raw sawdust) were investigated in a batch process in order to obtain the maximum furfural removal from wastewater. The results obtained from the experimental investigation show that the percentage removal of furfural increases with increasing pH and agitation speed until a maximum value after that it decreased with increasing pH and agitation speed. Also increases with increasing amount of adsorbent material and agitation time until a maximum value then reaches a constant value approximately, and decreasing with increasing furfural concentration. The maximum removal percent of furfural was 97.8, 94.4 and 55.9% for prepared activated carbon, commercial activated carbon, and raw sawdust respectively, which is obtained at a pH of 7.0, agitation speed of 150 revolutions per minute, agitation time of 105 minutes, furfural concentration of 100mg/L, and adsorbent amount of 1.5gm. Langmuir model is best fitted the data than Freundlich model.