The usage of various herbicides in the agricultural field leads to water pollution which is a big threat to the environment. Herein, the pods of the Peltophorum pterocarpum tree were used as a cheap resource to synthesize activated carbon (AC) by low-temperature carbonization to remove 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) – an abundantly used herbicide. The exceptional surface area (1078.34 m2/g), mesoporous structure, and the various functional groups of the prepared AC adsorbed 2,4-D effectively. The maximum adsorption capacity was 255.12 mg/g, significantly higher than the existing AC adsorbents. The adsorption data satisfactorily modelled using Langmuir and pseudo-second-order models. Also, the adsorption mechanism was studied using a statistical physics model which substantiated the multi-molecular interaction of 2,4-D with the AC. The adsorption energy (<20 kJ/mol) and thermodynamic studies (ΔH°: −19.50 kJ/mol) revealed the physisorption and exothermicity. The practical application of the AC was successfully tested in various waterbodies by spiking experiments. Hence, this work confirms that the AC prepared from the pods of P. pterocarpum can be applied as a potential adsorbent to remove herbicides from polluted waterbodies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis