Dehydrated carbon was prepared from date palm leaflets via the chemical treatment with phosphoric acid. Carbon preparation was investigated by varying the acid concentration at 150 C and selection criterion was based on the maximum removal of Pb2+ and Ag+ from aqueous solution. 13 M phosphoric acid was selected for the preparation of dehydrated carbon referred as DC13 that shows maximum removal for both metals from aqueous solution. DC13 was tested for the sorption of Pb2+ and Ag+ at different pH, contact time, metal concentration, temperature and sorbent status (moistened or dry). Maximum sorption was obtained at initial pH 5.0 for both metals. Equilibrium was reached in ∼1 h for Pb2+ sorption and ∼80 h for Ag+ sorption with higher activation energy for Ag+ sorption (31.9 kJ mol-1) than that for Pb2+ sorption (∼11.0 kJ mol-1). Moistened carbon showed better performance than the dry carbon and sorption capacity using the Langmuir isotherm was 41.5 and 37.9 mg g-1 for Pb2+ sorption and 312.5 and 285.7 mg g-1 for Ag+ sorption on moistened and dry carbons, respectively. Sorption of Pb2+ and Ag+ from a binary mixture showed a decrease in their uptake. The peculiar behavior of metal sorption is related to the chemical reduction of Ag+ to Ag 0 on the carbon surface, however, no chemical reduction was involved in Pb2+ sorption.
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