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Pure Appl. Chem., 2013, Vol. 85, No. 12, pp. 2209-2215

Published online 2013-09-19

Adsorption of radiocesium from aqueous solution using chemically modified pine cone powder

Eliazer Bobby Naidoo*, Agnes Pholosi and Augustine Enakpodia Ofomaja

Biosorption and Water Treatment Research Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, Vanderbijlpark 1900, South Africa

Abstract: In this study, toluene–ethanol mixtures were investigated as chemical modifying agents for pine cone powder (PCP) and the optimum modification ratio determined by measuring the improvement in surface properties of the PCP such as Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area, bulk density, and surface negative charge. The modified adsorbents were then applied for the removal of cesium ions from aqueous solution. The result revealed that the chemically modified PCP had better surface properties than the raw BET surface area, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) spectra revealed that the surface area improved and cellulose crystallinity reduced. Cesium adsorption by the chemically modified PCP was much higher than for the raw PCP. Desorption studies were also performed to evaluate the mechanism of adsorption.