DOI: 10.3390/min14030302 ISSN: 2075-163X

Efficient Aqueous Copper Removal by Burnt Tire-Derived Carbon-Based Nanostructures and Their Utilization as Catalysts

Iviwe Cwaita Arunachellan, Madhumita Bhaumik, Hendrik Gideon Brink, Kriveshini Pillay, Arjun Maity
  • Geology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

This research focuses on valorising waste burnt tires (BTs) through a two-phase oxidation process, leading to the production of onion-like carbon-based nanostructures. The initial carbonization of BTs yielded activated carbon (AC), denoted as “BTSA”, followed by further oxidation using the modified Hummer’s method to produce onion-like carbon designated as “BTHM”. Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area measurements showed 5.49 m2/g, 19.88 m2/g, and 71.08 m2/g for raw BT, BTSA, and BTHM, respectively. Additional surface functionalization oxidations were observed through Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) analyses. Raman spectroscopy indicated an increased graphitic nature during each oxidation stage. BTHM was assessed in batch adsorption studies for cupric wastewater remediation, revealing a two-phase pseudo-first-order behaviour dominated by mass transfer to BTHM. The maximum adsorption capacity for Cu2+ on BTHM was determined as 136.1 mg/g at 25 °C. Langmuir adsorption isotherm best described BTHM at a solution pH of 6, while kinetics studies suggested pseudo-second-order kinetics. Furthermore, BTHM, laden with Cu2+, served as a catalyst in a model coupling reaction of para-idoanisole and phenol, successfully yielding the desired product. This study highlights the promising potential of BTHM for both environmental remediation and catalytic reuse applications to avoid the generation of secondary environmental waste by the spent adsorbent.

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