Ingeniare. 19:2 (2011) 174-185.

DOI: 10.4067/S0718-33052011000200003


The combined use of ozone and activated carbon has recently started to be developed for the treatment of toxic effluents. However, the effect of ozone on the properties of activated carbon is not fully elucidated. A study was undertaken of modifications of the surface properties of a commercial activated carbon produced by its ozonation during different time periods. Surface chemistry of the activated carbon samples was characterized by of selective neutralization, temperature-programmed desorption, and pH of the point of zero charge. Surface area and volume of micropores and mesopores were obtained from nitrogen adsorption isotherms at 77 K. Adsorption properties were determined by methylene blue adsorption index. Results show that the higher the ozone dose, the higher the oxidation of the carbon and the greater is the number of acid groups present on the carbon surface, especially carboxylic groups, whereas the pH of the point of zero charge decreases. The surface area, micropore volume, and methylene blue adsorption all reduce with higher doses. These results are explained by the ozone attack on the carbon and the fixation of oxygen groups on its surface.

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