Lead and copper removal from aqueous solutions using carbon foam derived from phenol resin

Chang Gu Lee, Jun Woo Jeon, Min Jin Hwang, Kyu Hong Ahn, Chanhyuk Park, Jae Woo Choi, Sang Hyup Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Phenolic resin-based carbon foam was prepared as an adsorbent for removing heavy metals from aqueous solutions. The surface of the produced carbon foam had a well-developed open cell structure and the specific surface area according to the BET model was 458.59m2g-1. Batch experiments showed that removal ratio increased in the order of copper (19.83%), zinc (34.35%), cadmium (59.82%), and lead (73.99%) in mixed solutions with the same initial concentration (50mgL-1). The results indicated that the Sips isotherm model was the most suitable for describing the experimental data of lead and copper. The maximum adsorption capacity of lead and copper determined to Sips model were 491mgg-1 and 247mgg-1. The obtained pore diffusion coefficients for lead and copper were found to be 1.02×10-6 and 2.42×10-7m2s-1, respectively. Post-sorption characteristics indicated that surface precipitation was the primary mechanism of lead and copper removal by the carbon foam, while the functional groups on the surface of the foam did not affect metal adsorption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by Korea Ministry of Environment as “The Conversing Technology Program” (2012000600001).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Batch experiments
  • Carbon foam
  • Copper removal
  • Lead removal
  • Surface precipitation


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