The purpose of this study was to investigate the feasibility of activated carbons prepared from Macadamia nutshells as an efficient adsorbent for the removal of hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) from aqueous solutions. The activated carbon was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), CHNS analyzer and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET). For effective removal of Cr(VI), the optimum parameters found were pH 2, 120 min of contact time and 0.2 g of sorbent. The adsorption data fitted well into the Freundlich model, suggesting a multilayer sorption process. The results demonstrated that Macadamia activated carbon could be used as cost-effective biosorbent for the treatment of aqueous solutions contaminated by Cr(VI) with an adsorption capacity of 22.3 mg g−1. The mode of removal involved adsorption and reduction of Cr(VI) to Cr(III).

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