Preparation of activated carbon from anthracite through microwave-assisted activation was optimized by response surface methodology (RSM). The satisfactory conditions were obtained as follows: 693 W of microwave power, 10 min of irradiation time and 1:1 of the ratio of KOH to coal, and the corresponding adsorbance of iodine and methylene blue (MB) were of 799.32 and 132.03 mg/g, respectively. The production was characterized using nitrogen adsorption isotherm, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The resultant powdered activated carbons were applied for removing Hg(Ⅱ) from aqueous solution at different dosage of activated carbon, concentrations of Hg(Ⅱ), adsorption temperature and pH. The Langmuir isotherm was excellently correlated to equilibrium data of Hg(Ⅱ) adsorption, showing Langmuir adsorption capacities of Hg(II) was 145.41 mg/g.

Deqiang Li, Xinfang Ma, Jiayu Yan, Zhansheng Wu and Zhiyong Liu