• Omar Abed Habeeb North Refinery Company, Ministry of Oil of Iraq, Baiji, Salahaldeen, Iraq
  • Ramesh Kanthasamy Faculty of Chemical & Natural Resources Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Gambang, 26300, Kuantan, Malaysia
  • Gomaa A. M. Ali Chemistry Department, Faculty of Science, Al‒Azhar University, Assiut, 71524, Egypt
  • Rosli Mohd. Yunus Faculty of Chemical & Natural Resources Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Gambang, 26300, Kuantan, Malaysia



Palm kernel shell, hydrogen sulfide, response surface methodology, statistical analysis


Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) present in the industrial wastewater can be removed using activated carbon produced from palm kernel shell. In this study, three factors namely activation temperature, impregnation ratio of potassium hydroxide to precursor and activation contact time were investigated for the preparation of activated carbon from palm kernel shell (ACPKS) as an adsorbent toward removal of H2S from synthetic wastewater using central composite design (CCD). Chemical activation method was used to activate the adsorbent with different conditions using KOH as an activating agent. The batch mode was utilized for studying adsorption process. Two responses (removal efficiency (RE, %) and yield of adsorbent (Y, %) are tested by means of two quadratic models. The results shown that the optimum conditions for ACPKS preparation are activation temperature of 829.4 ÌŠC, KOH to precursor ratio of 3.01 w% and activation time of 85 min with responses of 94.41% RE and 39.4% of ACPKS yield. The study recommended that, ACPKS is the promising adsorbent for removing H2S from wastewater and other aqueous solutions.

Author Biography

  • Omar Abed Habeeb, North Refinery Company, Ministry of Oil of Iraq, Baiji, Salahaldeen, Iraq


Lambert, T. W., Goodwin, V. M., Stefani, D. 2006. Strosher L. Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) and Sour Gas Effects on the Eye. A Historical Perspective. Sci Total Environ. 367: 1-22.

ATSDR. 2008. Minimal Risk Levels (MRLs) for Hazardous Substances. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.URL:

EPA. 2003. Toxicological Review of Hydrogen Sulfide. URL:

Guidotti, T. L. 1994. Occupational Exposure to Hydrogen Sulfide in the Sour Gas Industry: Some Unresolved Issues. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 66: 153-160.

Hendrickson, R. G., Chang, A., Hamilton, R. J. 2004. Co-worker Fatalities from Hydrogen Sulfide. Am J Ind Med. 45: 346-350.

Heinonen, A. 2012. Adsorption of Hydrogen Sulfide by Modified Cellulose Nano/microcrystals.

Ozekmekci, M., Salkic, G., Fellah, M. F. 2015. Use of Zeolites for the Removal of H2S: A Mini-review. Fuel Process Technol. 139: 49-60.

Chen, Q., Wang, J., Liu, X., Li, Z., Qiao, W., Long, D. 2011. Structure-dependent Catalytic Oxidation of H2S over Na2CO3 Impregnated Carbon Aerogels. Microporous Mesoporous Mater.142: 641-648.

Chang Y-J, Chang Y-T, Chen H-J. 2007. A Method for Controlling Hydrogen Sulfide in Water by Adding Solid Phase Oxygen. Bioresour Technol. 98: 478-483.

Altaş L, Büyükgüngör H. 2008. Sulfide Removal in Petroleum Refinery Wastewater by Chemical Precipitation. J Hazard Mater. 153: 462-469.

Rehman, Z. U., Farooqi, I. H., Ayub, S. 2010. Performance of Biofilter for the Removal of Hydrogen Sulphide Odour. Int J Environ Res. 3: 537-544.

Dutta, P. K., Rabaey, K., Yuan, Z., Rozendal, R. A. R. A. Keller, J. J. 2010. Electrochemical Sulfide Removal and Recovery from Paper Mill Anaerobic Treatment Effluent. Water Res. 44: 2563-2571.

Sakanishi, K., Wu, Z., Matsumura, A., Saito, I., Hanaoka, T., Minowa, T. 2005. Simultaneous Removal of H2S and COS using Activated Carbons and Their Supported Catalysts. Catal Today. 104: 94-100.

Lemos, B. R. S. S., Teixeira, I. F., de Mesquita, J. P. J. P., Ribeiro, R. R., Donnici, C. L., Lago, R. M. 2012. Use of Modified Activated Carbon for the Oxidation of Aqueous Sulfide. Carbon. 50: 1386-1393.

Kazmierczak-Razna, J., Gralak-Podemska, B., Nowicki, P. and Pietrzak, R. 2015. The Use of Microwave Radiation for Obtaining Activated Carbons from Sawdust and Their Potential Application in Removal of NO2 and H2S. Chemical Engineering Journal. 269: 352-358.

Foo, 5. 5. K. and Hameed, B. H. 2010. Insights into the Modeling of Adsorption Isotherm Systems. Chemical Engineering Journal. 156: 2-10.

Sanghi, R., Bhattacharya, B. 2002. Review on Decolorisation of Aqueous Dye Solutions by Low Cost Adsorbents. Color Technol. 118: 256-269.

Meshko, V., Markovska, L., Mincheva, M., Rodrigues, A. E. 2001. Adsorption of Basic Dyes on Granular Acivated Carbon and Natural Zeolite. Water Res. 35: 3357-3366.

Weber, W. J., Morris, J. C. 1964. Hydrophobic Surfaces. Pergamon Press, New York.

Subramaniam, R., Kumar Ponnusamy, S. 2015. Novel Adsorbent from Agricultural Waste (Cashew NUT Shell) for Methylene Blue Dye Removal: Optimization by Response Surface Methodology. Water Resour Ind. 11: 64-70.

Zhou, L. 2006. Adsorption: Progress in Fundamental and Application Research: Selected Reports at the 4th Pacific Basin Conference on Adsorption Science and Technology: Tianjin, China. 22-26.

Sigot, L., Ducom, G. and Germain, P. 2016. Adsorption of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) on Zeolite (Z): Retention Mechanism. Chemical Engineering Journal. 287: 47-53.

Belmabkhout, Y., De Weireld, G., Sayari, A. 2009. Amine-bearing Mesoporous Silica for CO2 and H2S Removal from Natural Gas and Biogas. Langmuir. 25: 13275-13278.

Bae, J. W., Kang, S-H, Dhar, G. M., Jun, K-W. 2009. Effect of Al2O3 Content on the Adsorptive Properties of Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 for Removal of Odorant Sulfur Compounds. Int J Hydrogen Energy. 34: 8733-8740.

Habeeb, O. A., Ramesh, K., Ali, G. A. M., Yunus, R. M. 2017. Isothermal Modelling Based Experimental Study of Dissolved Hydrogen Sulfide Adsorption From Waste Water Using Eggshell Based Activated Carbon. Malaysian J Anal Sci. 21: 334-345.

Dabrowski, A., Podkościelny, P., Hubicki, Z., Barczak, M. 2005. Adsorption of Phenolic Compounds by Activated Carbon--A Critical Review. Chemosphere. 58: 1049-1070.

Ahmed, S., Rasul, M., Martens, W. 2010. Heterogeneous Photocatalytic Degradation of Phenols in Wastewater: A Review on Current Status and Developments. Desalination. 261: 3-18.

Haddadian, Z., Shavandi, M. A., Zainal, Z., Halim, M., Ismail, S. 2013. Removal Methyl Orange from Aqueous Solutions Using Dragon Fruit (Hylocereusundatus) Foliage. Chem Sci Trans. 2: 900-910.

Phooratsamee, W., Hussaro, K., Teekasap, S. and Hirunlabh, J. 2014. Increasing Adsorption of Activated Carbon from Palm Oil Shell for Adsorb H2S from biogas Production by I(mpregnation. American Journal of Environmental Sciences. 10: 431-445.

Shang, G., Li, Q., Liu, L., Chen, P. and Huang, X. 2016. Adsorption of Hydrogen Sulfide by Biochars Derived from Pyrolysis of Different Agricultural/Forestry Wastes. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. 66: 8-16.

Foo, K. Y., Hameed, B. H. 2011. Microwave Assisted Preparation of Activated Carbon from Pomelo Skin for the Removal of Anionic and Cationic Dyes. Chem Eng J. 173: 385-390.

Nowicki, P., Skibiszewska, P., Pietrzak, R. 2013. NO2 Removal on Adsorbents Prepared from Coffee Industry Waste Materials. Adsorpt Int Adsorpt Soc. 19: 521-528.

Misnon, I. I., Zain, N. K. M., Aziz, R. A., Vidyadharan, B. and Jose, R. 2015. Electrochemical Properties of Carbon from Oil Palm Kernel Shell for High Performance Supercapacitors. Electrochimica Acta.174: 78-86.

Sumathi, S., Chai, S. P. and Mohamed, A. R. 2008. Utilization of Oil Palm as a Source of Renewable Energy in Malaysia. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 12: 2404-2421.

Box, G. E. P., Wilson, K. B. 1951. On the Experimental Attainment of Optimum Conditions. J R Stat Soc Ser B. 13: 1-45.

Hounsa, C. G., Aubry, J. M., Dubourguier, H. C., Hornez, J. P. 1996. Application of Factorial and Doehlert Designs for Optimization of Pectate Lyase Production by a Recombinant Escherichia Coli. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 45: 764-70.

Habeeb, O. A., Ramesh, K., Ali, G. A. M., Yunus, R. M. 2017. Optimization of Activated Carbon Synthesis Using Response Surface Methodology to Enhance H2S Removal From Refinery Wastewater. J Chem Engin Indust Biotechnol. 1: 1-17.

Azargohar, R., Dalai, A. K. 2005. Production of Activated Carbon from Luscar Char: Experimental and Modeling Studies. Microporous Mesoporous Mater. 85: 219-25.

Zainudin, N. F., Lee, K. T., Kamaruddin, A. H., Bhatia, S., Mohamed, A. R. 2005. Study of Adsorbent Prepared from Oil Palm Ash (OPA) for Flue Gas Desulfurization. Sep Purif Technol. 45: 50-60.

Hassani, A., Alidokht, L., Khataee, A. R., Karaca, S. 2014. Optimization of Comparative Removal of Two Structurally Different Basic Dyes Using Coal as a Low-cost and Available Adsorbent. J Taiwan Inst Chem Eng. 45: 1597-1607.

Roy, P., Mondal, N. K., Das, K. 2014. Modeling of the Adsorptive Removal of Arsenic: A Statistical Approach. J Environ Chem Eng. 2: 585-597.

Chaudhary, N., Balomajumder, C. 2014. Optimization Study of Adsorption Parameters for Removal of Phenol on Aluminum Impregnated Fly Ash Using Response Surface Methodology. J Taiwan Inst Chem Eng. 45: 852-859.

Alam, M. Z., Ameem, E. S., Muyibi, S. A., Kabbashi, N. A. 2009. The Factors Affecting the Performance of Activated Carbon Prepared from Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches for Adsorption of Phenol. Chem Eng J. 155: 191-198.

Habeeb, O. A., Ramesh, K., Ali, G. A. M., Yunus, R. M., Olalere, O.A. 2016. Modeling and Optimization for H2S Adsorption From Wastewater Using Coconut Shell Based Activated Carbon. Australian J Basic Appl Sci. 10: 136-147.

Basu, J. K., Monal, D., Pinaki, G. 2012. Statistical Optimization for the Prediction of Ibuprofen Adsorption Capacity by Using Microwave Assisted Activated Carbon. Arch Appl Sci Res. 4: 1053-60.

Li, S., Han, K., Li, J., Li, M. and Lu, C. 2017. Preparation and Characterization of Super Activated Carbon Produced from Gulfweed by KOH Activation. Microporous and Mesoporous Materials. 243: 291-300.

Chowdhury, Z. Z., Zain, S. M., Khan, R. A., Ahmad, A. A., Khalid, K. 2012. Application of response Surface Methodology (RSM) for Optimizing Production Condition for Removal of Pb (II) and Cu (II) onto Kenaf Fiber based Activated Carbon. Res J Appl Sci Eng Technol. 4: 458-465.

Habeeb, O. A., Ramesh, K., Ali, G. A. M., Yunus, R. M. 2017. Experimental Design Technique on Removal of Hydrogen Sulfide Using CaO-Eggshells Dispersed onto Palm Kernel Shell Activated Carbon: Experiment, Optimization, Equilibrium and Kinetic Studies. J Wuhan Univ Technol-Mater Sci Ed. 32: 305-32.






Science and Engineering

How to Cite