Surface chemistry of wood-based phosphoric acid-activated carbons and its effects on adsorptivity

F. S. Baker, R. A. Daley, R. H. Bradley*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    The surface oxygen content of selected wood-based phosphoric acid-activated carbons was quantified using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and correlated with the residual bulk phosphate levels of the carbons and their adsorptivity in solution. The adsorption of Al3+, Cu2+, and parachlorophenol, respectively, from water decreased as a function of increasing surface oxygen content of the carbons. When the carbon of lowest surface oxygen content was oxidized with ozone to impart a surface oxygen content comparable to that of a carbon with a much higher phosphate level, adsorption of Al3+, Cu2+, and para-chlorophenol from water decreased proportionally. The increase in polarity of the carbon surface was accompanied by a decrease in pH and appeared to be the dominant factor with respect to the adsorption of the target species from water.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)878-883
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005


    • Active carbons
    • Phosphoric acid activation
    • Surface chemistry
    • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy(XPS)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biotechnology
    • Chemical Engineering(all)
    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Fuel Technology
    • Waste Management and Disposal
    • Pollution
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Inorganic Chemistry


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