Adsorptive Treatment of Landfill Leachate using Activated Carbon Modified with Three Different Methods

I. K. Erabee, A. Ahsan, Bipin Jose, M. Manniruzzaman A. Aziz, A. W.M. Ng, S. Idrus, N. N.N. Daud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Activated Carbon (AC) is an adsorbent having high surface area which makes the process of removing heavy metals from wastewater (such as landfill leachate) very effective. This study explored the utilization of three methods of modification of AC produced from coconut shell by treating it with nitric acid (HNO3), potassium permanganate (KMnO4) and heating at 600°C to improve the adsorption capacity. The AC can remove multi-pollutants in the filtration process which was used to treat landfill leachate. The water quality parameters such as pH, TSS, Ammonia-Nitrogen and a few heavy metals were considered in the present study. Results showed that the removal of these parameters was proportional with the increase of contact time and the bed depth of AC. The isotherm analysis of the adsorption of modified AC showed the best Removal Efficiency (RE) can be achieved when AC treated with KMnO4 for NH3-N, zinc, TSS and sulphide. The morphology of the AC was studied through Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) pattern analysis and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis. It was found that various types of oxygen functional groups were introduced onto the surface of coconut shell derived AC through oxidation using HNO3. FTIR was used to characterize the surface oxygen functional groups. The surface functional groups such as N-H and C-H stretching played a significant role in heavy metals adsorption. Hence, it can be concluded that the hybrid technique by using electrolysis process with AC adsorption be an effective way to remove the suspended solids and heavy metals from landfill leachate and thus able to reduce environmental pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1095
Number of pages13
JournalKSCE Journal of Civil Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


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