Abstract

The presence of organic pollutants in the environment is of major concern because of their toxicity, bio-accumulating tendency, threat to human life and the environment. It is a well-known fact that, these pollutants can damage nerves, liver, and bones and could also block functional groups of essential enzymes. Conventional methods for removing dissolved pollutants include chemical precipitation, chemical oxidation or reduction, filtration, ion-exchange, electrochemical treatment, application of membrane technology, evaporation recovery and biological treatment. Although all the pollutant treatment techniques can be employed, they have their inherent advantages and limitations. Among all these methods, adsorption process is considered better than other methods because of convenience, easy operation and simplicity of design. A fundamentally important characteristic of good adsorbents is their high porosity and consequent larger surface area with more specific adsorption sites. This paper presents a review of adsorption of different pollutants using activated carbon prepared from fly ash sources and the attendant environmental implications. Also, the ways of overcoming barriers to fly ash utilization together with regeneration studies are also discussed.

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