Novel carbon spheres for the treatment of refinery effluents

  • Addisu Tadesse Derebe

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The aim of this thesis is to develop an efficient and low cost adsorbent for refinery wastewater treatment. An environmentally-friendly hydrothermal procedure was employed to synthesize carbon spheres (CS) from glucose solution at 170°C. To study the effect of reaction time, four CS samples were synthesized at 12h, 14h, 16h and 19h. A portion of the samples were surface activated by treatment with 0.5M NaOH, the other portion treated with 0.5M CH3COOH, and the remaining samples were left untreated (native). All samples were characterized using various methods including SEM, XRD, Raman spectroscopy, N2 adsorption and FT-IR. Adsorption experiments of Ag+ and Cu2+ were carried out in batch mode at room temperature. It was found that increasing reaction time resulted in CS with a lower amorphous content and lowered adsorption capacity, NaOH-treated CS had the highest adsorption capacity of 454 mg Ag+/g and 172 mg Cu2+/g, while CH3COOH-treated CS had a lower Ag+ and Cu2+ uptake than untreated CS. The adsorption isotherms were well fit by the Langmuir isotherm equation (for base-treated CS) and the Freundlich isotherm equation (for acid-treated CS). The CS showed a high potential for the removal of heavy-metals from refinery wastewater.
Date of Award2014
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorKean Wang (Supervisor)


  • Applied sciences
  • Petroleum
  • Refining
  • Chemical engineering
  • 0542:Chemical engineering

Cite this