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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2013, Article ID 148129, 15 pages
Research Article

Activated Carbon-Fly Ash-Nanometal Oxide Composite Materials: Preparation, Characterization, and Tributyltin Removal Efficiency

1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, P.O. Box 1906, Bellville 7535, South Africa
2Department of Chemistry, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin 240004, Nigeria

Received 14 July 2012; Accepted 28 August 2012

Academic Editor: Alberto Ritieni

Copyright © 2013 Olushola S. Ayanda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The physicochemical properties, nature, and morphology of composite materials involving activated carbon, fly ash, nFe3O4, nSiO2, and nZnO were investigated and compared. Nature and morphology characterizations were carried out by means of scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Other physicochemical characterizations undertaken were CNH analysis, ash content, pH, point of zero charge, and surface area and porosity determination by BET. Experimental results obtained revealed that activated carbon, nSiO2, activated carbon-fly ash, activated carbon-fly ash-nFe3O4, activated carbon-fly ash-nSiO2, and activated carbon-fly ash-nZnO composite materials exhibited net negative charge on their surfaces while fly ash, nFe3O4, and nZnO possessed net positive charge on their surfaces. Relatively higher removal efficiency (>99%) of TBT was obtained for all the composite materials compared to their respective precursors except for activated carbon. These composite materials therefore offer great potential for the remediation of TBT in wastewaters.