The performance of a commercially available palm shell based activated carbon to remove lead ions from aqueous solutions by adsorption was evaluated. The adsorption experiments were carried out at pH 3.0 and 5.0. The effect of malonic and boric acid presence on the adsorption of lead ions was also studied. Palm shell activated carbon showed high adsorption capacity for lead ions, especially at pH 5 with an ultimate uptake of 95.2mg/g. This high uptake showed palm shell activated carbon as amongst the best adsorbents for lead ions. Boric acid presence did not affect significantly lead uptake, whereas malonic acid decreased it. The diffuse layer surface complexation model was applied to predict the extent of adsorption. The model prediction was found to be in concordance with the experimental values.
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