Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.28, No.1, 299-306, 2020
Activation mechanisms on potassium hydroxide enhanced microstructures development of coke powder
Coke powder is expected to be an excellent raw material to produce activated carbon because of its high carbon content. Potassium hydroxide (KOH), as an effective activation agent, was reported to be effective in activating coke powder. However, the microstructures development in the coke powder and its mechanisms when KOH was applied were still unclear. In this study, effects of KOH on the microstructure activation of coke powder were investigated using the surface area and pore structure analyzer, scanning electron microscope (SEM) and thermogravimetry-differential scanning calorimetry-mass spectrometry (TG-DSC-MS), etc. Results revealed that the addition KOH at its lower ratio (mass ratios of KOH and coke powder in a range of 0.5 and 1) decreased the specific surface area and average lateral sizes, but sharply increased of the specific surface area to 132 m(2).g(-1) and 355 m(2).g(-1) and decreased of the space size of aromatic crystallites upon the further increase of the KOH addition amounts (ratios of KOH and coke powder in a range of 3 and 7), generating a number of new micropores and mesopores. The mechanisms study implied surface reactions between KOH and aliphatic hydrocarbon side chain and other carbon functional groups of the coke powder to destruct aromatic crystallites in one dimension and broaden pores at lower KOH addition. In the activation process, KOH was decomposed to be more active components, which can be rapidly destruct the aromatic layers in spatial scope to form developed porous carbon structures within coke powder at higher KOH addition. (C) 2019 The Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China, and Chemical Industry Press Co., Ltd.. All rights reserved.