Adsorption of Ni2+ from aqueous solution by functionalized coal particles with dithiocarbamate

Zhuannian Liu, Xiaogang Han, Chun Hsing Ho, Aping Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Shenfu coal particles with a mean diameter of 71.55 μm were modified to contain functional surface groups by chemically grafting dithiocarbamate (DTC) onto the coal particles using γ-aminopropyltriethoxysilane as a coupler. The properties of Ni2+ adsorption using the functionalized coal particles were studied using batch experiments and compared with adsorption using the original coal particles. The mechanisms of coal particle modification and adsorption are discussed. Results show that the process of Ni2+ adsorption onto the functionalized coal particles follows pseudo-second-order kinetics. The adsorption isotherm of Ni2+ on functionalized coal particles can be described by the Langmuir model. The amount of saturated monomolecular layer adsorption (Q0) onto the functionalized coal particles for Ni2+ was found to be 82.37 mg/g, which is much higher than that found for the original coal particles. The related thermodynamic parameters, ΔH and ΔG of Ni2+ adsorption onto functionalized coal particles were negative, indicating that the process is exothermic and spontaneous. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectrum analysis illustrated that the DTC grafted onto the surface of the coal particles and successfully reacted with Ni2+ from the aqueous solution. The specific surface area analysis showed that the specific surface area of functionalized coal particles was 7.9126 mg/g, which was much higher than that of original coal particles (2.0618 mg/g). The scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis showed that the surfaces of functionalized coal particles were rougher than original coal particles. The paper concludes that functionalized coal with chelating groups is an efficient way to improve the adsorption capacity of coal used for removing heavy metal ions from aqueous solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04018027
JournalJournal of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • Adsorption
  • Coal
  • Dithiocarbamate (DTC)
  • Modification
  • Ni

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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