The use of highly structured and robust activated carbons based on non-renewable and
relatively expensive starting materials such as coal is unjustified in most pollution control applications.
Hence activated carbons were prepared from three industrial sludge and they are named as sugar mill
sludge activated carbon (SSAC), paper mill sludge activated carbon (PSAC) and tannery industry
sludge activated carbon (TSAC). These carbons were used to remove reactive red dyes from dye solution by varying the
dose of carbon, contact time, initial concentration of dye solution, particle size of carbon, pH and temperature of dye
solution through batch experiments and their performance was investigated. Functional groups and chemical composition
of carbons and dye were analyzed through Fourier transformed infra-red (FT-IR) spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction
technique respectively. The adsorption capacity of carbons on dye removal was in the order of SSAC > PSAC > TSAC,
which was well correlated to porosity and surface area of adsorbent. It was concluded from the factor analysis that the
variables of performance of SSAC on dye removal from different concentrations of solution with different dosages were
grouped into 2 factors while the variables of performance of PSAC and TSAC on dye removal were grouped into 3 and 4
factors respectively. The identified number of factors from factor analysis on dye removal by SSAC, PSAC and TSAC
was 2, 3 and 4 and reveals that the adsorption capacity of carbon is better when the number of factor is less.
Keywords: Adsorption, carbons, dosage, dye, equilibrium, optimum, sludge.
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