Nowadays, ultrasound has gained importance in a wide variety of industrial fields especially in wastewater and sewage treatment. Ultrasound exhibits several beneficial effects in solid–liquid systems by means of the cavitations phenomenon by causing the formation of many microcracks on the solid surface; thus, it increases the surface area between the reactants and cleans solid reactant or catalyst particle surfaces. In this study, activated carbon adsorbent for removing heavy metal cations such as Zn2+ from aqueous solutions has been prepared. For this purpose, KOH solution was impregnated into hazelnut shells under ultrasonic irradiation. After filtration, hazelnut shells have been carbonized under inert N2 atmosphere. The experiments were planned by statistical design methods. Finally, activated carbons were characterized by the evolution of their zinc adsorption capacity. Optimum preparation conditions were obtained by using constrained optimization program by means of the Matlab computer software. Activated carbon with the maximum adsorption capacity was further characterized by using scanning electron microscopy. The alkaline impregnation into hazelnut shells under ultrasonic irradiation was found to be beneficial for preparation of activated carbon for use as adsorbents to remove Zn2+ from aqueous solutions.

Enes Şayan