Adsorption of toxic Congo red dye from aqueous solution using untreated coffee husks: kinetics, equilibrium, thermodynamics and desorption study

P. Vairavel, Nakul Rampal, Gautham Jeppu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the potential of using dried coffee husk adsorbent is systematically evaluated by conducting batch studies involving various process parameters, such as initial pH, dye concentration, adsorbent dosage, particle size, electrolytes, and temperature for the removal of Congo red (CR) dye from aqueous solutions. The prepared adsorbent was characterised with Attenuated Total Reflection, Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy/Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy, thermogravimetric, particle size, zero-point charge, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area, and pore volume analysis. The maximum adsorption efficiency is obtained at an initial pH, 6, dye concentration, 50 mg L−1, adsorbent dosage, 10.5 g L−1, and adsorbent particle size, 89 µm. The kinetic rate constants and isotherm parameters were determined using various kinetic and isotherm models, respectively. The pseudo-second-order kinetic model gave a good fit to the experimental data at various dye concentrations. The adsorption mechanisms were described by intra-particle diffusion and Boyd plots. The overall rate of adsorption is controlled by external film diffusion of dye molecules. The experimental equilibrium data fit the Langmuir isotherm model with a maximum monolayer adsorption capacity (qmax) of 38.65 mg g−1 at 303 K. Thermodynamic studies were performed to evaluate the change in Gibbs free energy (ΔG), change in enthalpy (ΔH), and change in entropy (ΔS) of the adsorption process. Based on the thermodynamic analysis, the adsorption was found to be endothermic in nature, and the process was chemisorption, spontaneous and favoured at high temperatures. Desorption studies were conducted with various desorbing reagents in various runs and the maximum desorption efficiency (60.36% in third run) was determined using the solvent methanol. Reusability studies demonstrated that the prepared adsorbent was effective up to three runs of operation. These results show that waste coffee husks are cost-effective, eco-friendly bio-sustainable materials, and can be used for the removal of colour from synthetic dye wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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