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The
particles of banana peels were mixed with orthophosphoric acid H3PO4
in 1:1 proportion (g:ml) for chemical activation and kept for 24 hours. The
average particle size by sieve analysis of banana peels activated carbon (BPAC)
was found to be 0.3 mm. The surface area of BPAC was found to be 706.49 m2/g. From
the proximate analysis, the moisture content, ash content, volatile matter
content and fixed carbon content were found to be 7.85%, 22.89%, 4.26%, and 65%
respectively. The adsorbent BPAC has highest amount of fixed carbon, which
enhances the sorption capacity of adsorbent.

The
surface morphology of BPAC was studied by scanning electron microscope (SEM).
Figure 1 shows the SEM of blank BPAC. Figure shows the irregular and porous
particles of BPAC which enhance phenol adsorption on the surface. Figure 2
shows the SEM micrograph of BPAC after adsorption of phenol. The pores can be
observed closely packed with phenol molecules, makes the surface smoother and
even, which is the evidence of adsorption of phenol on the surface of adsorbent
(Ingole et al. 2017).The
surface chemistry of the BPAC was analyzed by FTIR spectroscopy. Figure 3 shows
the FTIR spectra of virgin BPAC and BPAC loaded with phenol in the range of
500–4000 cm?1. The
peaks of the graph plotted between the wave number (cm?1) and
the % transmittance indicate the presence of distinct functional groups on the
surface of adsorbent. The band stretched in the blank BPAC sample at 3000 to
4000 cm?1 represents
the presence of -OH stretching bands which. The band stretched in the blank
BPAC at 2750 and 3000 cm?1
indicate the presence of a strong C-H bond. The band around 1600 indicates C=O
group stretching. The bands around 1000 – 1200 indicate the indicate the
existence of C–O stretching vibrations in alcohols, phenols, acids, ethers or
esters. The weak band in the region of 832 cm-1 is attributed to
amine groups. There is a slight shifting of the bands after adsorption of
adsorbate.

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