Norfazilah Abdullah1, Abdul Rahman Mohamed2, Muhammad Zahiruddin Ramli1, and Norhusna Mohamad Nor This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1

1Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Cawangan Pulau Pinang, 13500 Permatang Pauh, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
2School of Chemical Engineering, Engineering Campus, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia


Received: December 14, 2020
Accepted: May 10, 2021
Publication Date: October 25, 2021

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a colourless and toxic gas that could harms people and environment. Due to its acidic and toxic properties, H2S cannot be burnt directly, hence it is necessary to remove it. The aim of this work is to study the influence of surface characteristics of modified palm shell activated carbon (PSAC) with Nickel nanoparticles (Ni nps) towards H2S removal. Surface characteristics consist of a combination of various analysis on the adsorbent’s surface such as, surface morphology, surface area, surface porosity, and surface functional groups. The Ni nps were synthesized by using alkaline precipitation method at different synthesis parameters; pH (8 – 10), precipitant molarity (6.5M – 7.5M) and temperature (55◦C – 65◦C). To study the adsorption of H2S, the PSAC adsorbent was modified with the synthesized Ni nps at 400◦C for 3 hours. The performance of modified Ni nps with PSAC (Ni-PSAC) adsorbents were tested in a custom-design H2S scrubber for H2S removal application. The surface characteristics of modified Ni-PSAC adsorbent were analysed by using TGA, TEM, SEM, and FTIR. Among the impregnated adsorbents, Ni-PSAC with pH 10, 6.5 M of precipitant molarity and temperature of 65◦C gives the highest adsorption capacity (9.60 mg H2S/g Ni-PSAC) and breakthrough time (14 minutes) compared to the rest of adsorbents. The introduction of Ni nps in the PSAC adsorbent structures resulted in better H2S removal compared to unimpregnated PSAC adsorbent. The existence of Ni nps help to increase the availability of oxygen vacancies in the adsorbent with the aid of nanostructured added in the adsorbent.

Keywords: Nickel nanoparticles, Adsorption, Hydrogen sulfide, Activated carbon, Surface characteristics


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