Civil and Environmental Engineering


Date of this Version



Jafari et al. Sustainable Environment Research (2023) 33:30


Open access.


The study is concerned with the adsorption of toluene from real wastewater using granular beads of activated carbon. The adsorbent was analyzed before and after the process using Scanning Electron Microscope analysis to characterize its surface characteristics. The adsorption parameters including solution pH, contact time, dosage of adsorbent, temperature and toluene initial concentration were optimized using response surface methodology (RSM) Box-Behnken experimental design to maximize the toluene adsorption. The adsorption capacity of the adsorbent was 298 mg g−1 and the maximum toluene removal was 99.5% which was achieved in the following optimal conditions: pH: 2, 100 min, adsorbent dosage: 0.7 g L−1, 40 °C and initial concentration: 30 mg L−1. The adjusted coefficient of determination of the model was over 0.99 which denotes that the model was quite appropriate and accurate and also it was effective in the optimization of toluene adsorption. Finally, the activated carbon adsorbent was applied to remove toluene from a real sample of wastewater under the optimal operating conditions and the uptake percentage of 96.9% was achieved which was in accordance with the output of the removal of toluene from synthetic wastewater.