Removal of Formaldehyde from Air Using Modified Bone Char

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Occupational Health, Faculty of Health, Jundishapur University of Medical Science, Ahvaz, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Health, Faculty of Medical Sciences,Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.


Background and Objective: Formaldehyde (CH2O) is one of the toxic volatile organic compounds which must be removed from polluted air. One of the techniques available to remove is by use of adsorbents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the characteristics and adsorption capacity of modified black bone char (BBC) on CH2O vapor.
Subjects and Methods: In this experimental research two types of BBC adsorbents (nomal and modified) were produced. Specific surface area and pore volume of the adsorbent materials were determined using the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area. The adsorbents structures were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy. The composition of BBC and modified BBC were analyzed by energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) measurement. To investigate breakthrough characteristics and adsorption capacity according to inlet concentration of CH2O on bone chars, adsorption experiments were carried out at 25±1oC under the same conditions.
Results: The specific surface area and pore volume for modified BBC (118.58m2/g and 0.374 cm 3/g) were higher than for BBC (105.24m2/g and 0.367 cm3/g). The EDX analysis showed that amount of calcium of the modified BBC was less than that of BBC. The results also showed that mean value of equilibrium time of modified BBC was longer than that of BBC (P<0.05). Moreover, the mean value of adsorption capacity of modified BBC was higher than that of BBC (P<0.05).
Conclusion: The modification of black bone char promotes porosity and adsorption capacity and can increase the removal efficiency of CH2O in air.


1-Arts JH, Muijser H, Kuper CF, Woutersen RA. Setting an indoor air exposure limit for formaldehyde: factor of concern. Regul Toxicol Pharmcol 2008;52(2):189–94.                                
2- IARC; Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Human, Vol. 88:Formaldehyde, 2-Butoxyethanol and 1-tert-Butoxy-2-propanol, World Health Organization, Lyon, 2006.
3-United States Environmental Protection Agency. Report to Congress on Indoor Air Quality. Washington: USEPA; 1989. (Assessment and Control of Indoor  Air Pollution ; vol II)
4-Yang L, Zhenyan L, Shi J, Hu H, Shangguan W. Design consideration of photocatalytic oxidation reactors using TiO2-coated foam nickels for degrading indoor gaseous formaldehyde. Catal Today 2007;126(3-4):359–68.
5- Kang SW, Min BH, Suh SS, Adsorption, Ion exchange, and catalysis, Environ Technol 2000; 83:17-23
6-Shen X, Bousher A, Edyvean RGJ. IChemE reseach event. Proceedings of the 1st European Conference for Young Researchers in Chemical Engineering;1995 Jan 5-6; Edinburgh,Scotland. P. 469-73.
7-Choy KK, McKay G. Sorption of metal ions from aqueous solution using bone char. Environ Int 2005;31(6):845-54.     
8-Choy KK, McKay G. Sorption of cadmium, copper, and zinc ions onto bone char using  Crank diffusion model. Chemosphere 2005;60(8):1141–50.
9-Abe I, Iwasaki S, Tokimoto T, Kawasaki N, Nakamura T, Tanada S. Adsorption of fluoride ions onto carbonaceous materials. J Colloid Interface Sci 2004;275(1):35-9.
10 -Chen YN, Chai LY, Shu YD. Study of arsenic (V) adsorption on bone char from aqueous solution. J Hazard Mater. 2008;160(1):168-72.
11-Czerniczyniec M, Farias S, Magallanes J, Cicerone D. Arsenic(V) Adsorption onto Biogenic hydroxylapatite: Solution composition effects. Water Air Soil Poll 2007;180:75-82.
12-Rezaee A, Ghanizadeh G, Behzadiyannejad G, Yazdanbakhsh A, Siyadat SD. Adsorption of endotoxin from aqueous solution using bone char. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 2009;82(6):732–7.
13-Gregg SJ, Sing KSW. Adsorption Surface Area and Porosity. 2nd ed. London: Academic Press; 1967
14-Adamson AW. Physical Chemistry of Surfaces 5th ed. NewYork: Wiley; 1990.
15-Ayllon M, Aznar M, Sanchez JL, Gea G, Arauzo J. Influence of temperature and heating rate on the fixed bed pyrolysis of meat and bone meal. Chem Eng J 2006;121(2-3):85-96.
16- Honora A, Plieva FM, Hedstrom M. Structure of Bone char. J Biotechnol 2008; 118:421-427
17-Qi H, Sun DZ, Chi GQ. Formaldehyde degradation by UV/TiO2/O3 process using continuous flow mode. J Environ Sci (China) 2007;19(9):1136–40.         
18-Lee JJ, Yu HY. Adsorption characteristics of BEAM by granular activated carbon (II). J Kor Soc Environ Engrs 1998;20:509.
19-Namane A, Hellal A. The  dynamic  adsorption  characteristics  of phenol  by  granular  activated  carbon. J Hazard  Mater 2006; 137: 618-625. 
20-Lee  SW, Perk HJ, Lee SH, Lee MG. Comparison  of  adsorption 20-characteristics  according  to polarity  difference  of  acetone  vapor  and   toluene vapor on silica–alumina  fixed­bed  reactor. J Ind Eng Chem 2008; 14(1):10–7. 
21- Rong H, Ryu Z,  Zheng J, Zhang Y. Influence of heat treatment of rayon-based activated carbon fibers on the adsorption of formaldehyde.  J Colloid Interf  Sci 2003; 261; 207-212
22-Boonamnuayvitaya V, Sae-ung S, Tanthapanichakoon W. Preparation of activated carbons from coffee residue for the adsorption of formaldehyde. Sep Purif Technol 2005;42(2):159–68.