Abstract :

This study focuses on a comparative analysis of pretreated coal effluent with Hydrochloric (HCl) and Tetraoxosulphate (VI) Acids (H2SO4) activated carbon. The study is motivated by the discrepancies existing in the removal efficiency of particulate matter from effluent samples, using adsorbents that are activated by different acids of varying strengths. A sample of cow bone collected from a functional abattoir in Niger State, Nigeria, was subjected to acid activation of HCl and H2SO4 using standard procedures, for coal effluent treatment purposes. The solutions of adsorbent samples were analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity, total hardness, and total alkalinity, to determine their potential adsorptive strength. The results showed that pH values for 0.2 M fell between 7.20 – 7.70 for HCl-treated adsorbent and 5.94-7.25 for H2SO4-treated adsorbent. However, for 0.5 M solution showed, the pH was between 6.20-7.96 for HCl-treated adsorbent and 5.95 – 6.72 for H2SO4-treated adsorbent, while at 1.0 M solution, the fell between 6.10-8.18 for HCl-treated adsorbent and 5.95 – 6.80 for H2SO4-treated adsorbent. The hardness analysis showed that the HCl-treated adsorbent recorded a maximum hardness of 240 mg/l at molarity level of 1.0 M, while the H2SO4-treated adsorbent gave a maximum hardness of 220 mg/l at a molarity level of 0.2 M. The total alkalinity for HCl-treated adsorbent (for the molarity levels (60-120 mg/l) was found to be higher than that of H2SO4-treated ones (60-80mg/l). Also, the results of electrical conductivity favoured the H2SO4-treated adsorbent (with a maximum conductivity value of 452 μs/cm at 0.2M) more than the HCl-treated one (which has maximum conductivity of 448 μs/cm at 1.0M). Consequently, the results indicate that the H2SO4-treated adsorbent has an enhanced activation, for better surface particulate removal compared to the HCl-treated adsorbents.