Adsorption of Phenol on Granular Activated Carbon from Nutrient Medium:Equilibrium and kinetic Study


1 Institute of Petrochemical Engineering, Lonere, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Technological University, Raigad-402 103, Tal-Mangaon, Maharashtra, India

2 Chemical Engineering Department, National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal-575 025, India


This paper presents the adsorption of phenol on granular activated carbon (GAC) from nutrient medium suitable for roorganisms’ growth and also the subsequent biodegradation. Two parameter Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherm models were studied using large range of phenol concentration (50-1000 mg/L). In low range of phenol concentration (50-300 mg/L), correlation coefficient, normalized deviation “g% and separation factor were 0.9989, 2.18% and 0.38- 0.78 respectively, while for higher concentration range (400-1000 mg/L), the corresponding values were 0.9719, 1.9% and 0.45- 0.67. Freundlich isotherm gave correlation coefficient of 0.9984, 1/n. value of 0.7269 and normalized deviation of 4.55%. Comparison based on R2, adjusted R2, normalized deviation and root mean square deviation (RMSD) showed that the Redke-Prausnitz isotherm model gives better prediction compared to other models. Adsorption of phenol follows pseudo second
order kinetics with correlation coefficient closer to one. Biodegradation study using immobilized cells of Nocardia hydrocarbonoxydans on GAC showed that, biodegradation begins well before GAC reaches the saturation period.