Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride removal by palm shell waste based powdered activated carbon vs. functionalized carbon with magnesium silicate: Implications for their application in water treatment.

Source: Chemosphere 239:124765. | January 17th, 2020 | Authors: Choong CE, Wong KT, Jang SB, Nah IW, Choi J, Ibrahim S, Yoon Y, Jang M.
Location: International
Industry type: Water Treatment


  • MgSiO3 impregnated on PSAC for fluoride removal was studied for the first time.
  • MPSAC showed higher fluoride adsorption capacities compared to PSAC.
  • Anions inhibited F? adsorption with the following sequence: Cl< NO3< SO42-.
  • PSAC had stable sequestration capacities of fluoride due to strong C–F bond formation.
  • MPSAC had high regeneration capacities for ex-situ fluoride treatment using NaOH.


In this study, palm shell activated carbon powder (PSAC) and magnesium silicate (MgSiO3) modified PSAC (MPSAC) were thoroughly investigated for fluoride (F) adsorption. F adsorption isotherms showed that PSAC and MPSAC over-performed some other reported F adsorbents with adsorption capacities of 116 mg g-1 and 150 mg g-1, respectively. Interestingly, the MgSiO3 impregnated layer changed the adsorption behavior of F from monolayer to heterogeneous multilayer based on the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models verified by chi-square test (X2). Thermodynamic parameters indicated that the F adsorption on PSAC and MPSAC was spontaneous and exothermic. PSAC and MPSAC were characterized using FESEM-EDX, XRD, FTIR and XPS to investigate the F adsorption mechanism. Based on the regeneration tests using NaOH (0.01 M), PSAC exhibited poor regeneration (<20%) while MPSAC had steady adsorption efficiencies (-70%) even after 5 regeneration cycles. This is due to highly polarized C–F bond was found on PSAC while Mg–F bond was distinguished on MPSAC, evidently denoting that the F adsorption is mainly resulted from the exchange of hydroxyl (-OH) group. It was concluded that PSAC would be a potential adsorbent for in-situ F groundwater remediation due to its capability to retain F without leaching out in a wide range pH. MPSAC would be an alternative adsorbent for ex-situ F water remediation because it can easily regenerate with NaOH solution. With the excellent F adsorption properties, both PSAC and MPSAC offer as promising adsorbents for F remediation in the aqueous phase.

*Original abstract online at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045653519320028