Thermal-treated carbons from acorn and cypress cone were prepared and characterized. The uptakes of heavy metal ions (Ag+, Cd2+ and Cr+3) and organics (phenol, methylene blue and sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate) from aqueous solution have been studied. Effects of activation by HCl and HNO3 acids on the sorption properties of these carbons were investigated by mass titration, sorption isotherms, IRS, SEM and XRS. The models of Langmuir and Freundlich do not represent our sorption data very well. An earlier proposed empirical correlation is applied successfully to carry out a parameter of comparison between the studied carbons. The acidic treatment changes the surface chemical properties of the two thermal-treated carbons lowering their sorption performances. The carbons show good capacities to uptake metals, phenol and methylene blue, but sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate is removed from its solutions to minor extent. The up-taking properties are found similar to those of two worldwide used commercial grade carbons. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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