Water pollution from heavy metal ions is high in towns and rural areas in Kenya. The ions and other pollutants in drinking water are known to cause cancer among other human ailments.
The aim of this study was to prepare and determine adsorption capabilities of untreated, acid treated avocado seeds and activated carbon on removal of Pb2+ and Cu2+ ions from drinking water and finally making a water purification system using the adsorbents.
The avocado seeds obtained from Kabare market Kenya were cleaned with deionized water then cut into small pieces, dried in the sun for one week. They were ground using blender, then dried in the sun for 2 days and packed. Some were calcined to form charcoal. Acid treatment and activation was done using 1 molar sulphuric acid in the ratios 1:2, weight to volume; while adsorption tests were done using 2g of adsorbent in 50 ml of Cu2+ and Pb2+ ions in various appropriate concentrations.
The % adsorption was calculated from AAS results of samples from this study done at JKUAT. The study results showed adsorption of the Cu2+ and Pb2+ ions at 26.7% and 57.0% respectively for unmodified while the removal was 97% Cu2+ and 95% Pb2+ for modified and 87.6% Cu2+ and 89.4% for activated carbon.
The results from the study led to a conclusion of using the adsorbents in domestic and commercial water supply systems and also recommends further study on these and other cellulose materials for the adsorption of heavy metal ions and pollutants.