Multilayer Dye Adsorption in Activated Carbons-Facile Approach to Exploit Vacant Sites and Interlayer Charge Interaction

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)5041-5049
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2016


Altering the textural properties of activated carbons (ACs) via physicochemical techniques to increase their specific surface area and/or to manipulate their pore size is a common practice to enhance their adsorption capacity. Instead, this study proposes the utilization of the vacant sites remaining unoccupied after dye uptake saturation by removing the steric hindrance and same-charge repulsion phenomena via multilayer adsorption. Herein, it has been shown that the adsorption capacity of the fresh AC is a direct function of the dye molecular size. As the cross-sectional area of the dye molecule increases, the steric hindrance effect exerted on the neighboring adsorbed molecules increases, and the geometrical packing efficiency is constrained. Thus, ACs saturated with larger dye molecules render higher concentrations of vacant adsorption sites which can accommodate an additional layer of dye molecules on the exhausted adsorbent through interlayer attractive forces. The second layer adsorption capacity (60-200 mg·g-1) has been demonstrated to have a linear relationship with the uncovered surface area of the exhausted AC, which is, in turn, inversely proportional to the adsorbate molecular size. Unlike the second layer adsorption, the third layer adsorption is a direct function of the charge density of the second layer.

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