A critical review on preparation, characterization and utilization of sludge-derived activated carbons for wastewater treatment

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)895-906
Journal / PublicationChemical Engineering Journal
Online published6 Sep 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2015


Sludge, a byproduct produced from numerous industrial activities, has been recognized as an ecological burden for the society. However, viewing the sludge, as a carbon-rich material, has stimulated new gateways for the production of porous activated carbons for water treatment applications. Herein, various textural properties of the sludge-based activated carbons have been compiled and critically reviewed with the focus on surface area, pore size and pore size distribution for both physically and chemically activated carbons. It has been found that chemical activation using various activating agents yields more superior adsorbents with high specific surface areas than physical activation methods. Moreover, the potential of sludge-derived activated carbons for the sequestration of metals and dyes from aqueous media has been discussed. Furthermore, the adsorption mechanism in several adsorbent-adsorbate systems and the effect of various parameters on the adsorption behavior of different dyes and metals on sludge-based activated carbons have been reviewed. It has been shown that the pollutant uptake capacities of the adsorbents derived from sewage sludge are not only governed by the textural properties of the adsorbents, but also by their surface properties, such as the functional groups and the surface charge and thus it is proposed that both of these crucial factors be considered concurrently.

Research Area(s)

  • Activated carbon, Adsorption, Sludge, Waste management, Wastewater treatment

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