Phenol and its derivatives are organic pollutants with dangerous effects, such as poisoning, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and teratogenicity on humans and other organisms. In this study the removal of phenol from aqueous solution by adsorption on silica and activated carbon of rice husk was investigated. In this regard, the effects of initial concentration of phenol, pH, dosage of the adsorbents, and contact time on the adsorption of phenol were investigated. The results showed that the maximum removal of phenol by rice husk silica (RHS) and rise husk activated carbon (RHAC)in the initial concentration of 1 mgL−1 phenol, 2 gL−1 adsorbent mass, 120 min contact time, and pH 5 (RHS) or pH 6 (RHAC) were obtained up to 91% and 97.88%, respectively. A significant correlation was also detected between increasing contact times and phenol removal for both of adsorbents (p < 0.01). The adsorption process for both of the adsorbents was also more compatible with the Langmuir isotherm. The results of this study showed that RHS and RHAC can be considered as natural and inexpensive adsorbents for water treatment.

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