Tannery solid waste in the form of buffing dust and conventional feedstock such as sawdust were used to produce adsorbents (activated carbon) under the same experimental conditions. The adsorbent from both feedstocks were produced after carbonization at temperatures of 500°C–800°C and characterized. Adsorption performance of the activated carbon samples produced was comparatively studied using methylene blue as adsorbate. Results reveal that activated carbon obtained from sawdust after carbonization at 800°C exhibited better adsorption properties than its counterpart produced at the same temperature. Conversely, activated carbon produced from tannery buffing dust after carbonization at 500°C displayed superior adsorption capacity than that obtained from sawdust at the same temperature. The effect of carbon dosage and time on adsorption by both carbon samples was also determined. The Freundlich and Langmuir adsorption isotherm model used in this study reveals that, although the Freundlich isotherm had a better fit (R2 = 0.980) for tannery buffing dust than sawdust (R2 = 0.943), Langmuir isotherm exhibited the best overall fit R2 = 0.9893 and R2 = 0.9896 for sawdust and tannery buffing dust, respectively. The low temperature used in production and the good adsorption performance of activated carbon obtained from tannery buffing waste in this study makes it a more cost effective adsorbent to produce than activated carbon produced from sawdust.
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