The production and performance of activated carbon prepared from date pits was investigated. Date pits are an abundant local waste product in many countries; converting them to a commercial product would increase the sustainability of this fruit crop. The date pit activated carbon was shown to have similar characteristics of pore size and surface functional groups as other commercial carbons. Batch experiments were conducted with o- and p-nitrophenol to evaluate the performance of this carbon. Results were analyzed according to Langmuir, Freundlich, and Dubinin-Radushkevich adsorption isotherms. The adsorption capacity of o-nitrophenol was 142.9 mg/g while that of p-nitrophenol was 108.7 mg/g. The adsorption process was physical in nature. The position of the −NO2 group in the benzene ring has a considerable effect on the adsorption capacity and rate of uptake. The kinetic results showed that a pseudo second-order model appropriately describes the experimental data. The analysis of kinetic data revealed that the mechanism of adsorption is complex with both liquid film diffusion and intraparticle diffusion contributing to adsorption of both adsorbates.

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