Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol.232, No.1, 45-49, 2000
Effects of burn-off and activation temperature on preparation of activated carbon from corn cob agrowaste by CO2 and steam
Previous studies have successfully demonstrated that corn cob is a suitable precursor for production of good activated carbon by chemical activation. However, respond to the need for cleaner production, this study focuses (on the physical activation by gasifying agents such as CO2 and steam. The activation temperatures un der investigation are 1073 and 1173 K. Within the limit of 50 wt% burn-off, experimental results reveal that the BET surface area, pore volume, and average pore diameter of the resulting activated carbon generally increase with the extent of burn-off in both gasifying agents and at both temperatures. The higher activation temperature can overcome the drawbacks of a longer period of activation required to attain larger surface area and can offer higher potential to produce activated carbon of greater adsorption capacity from agriculture wastes such as corn cobs. Additionally, the BET surface areas of properly prepared activated carbons can satisfy commercial requirements, when compared with commercial activated carbon. The BET surface areas of the activated carbons after about 71 and 59 wt% burn-off of CO2 and steam activations at 1173 K are 1705 and 1315 m(2)/g, respectively, indicating high adsorption capacities. Thus, it is feasible to produce high-quality microporous activated carbon from corn cob agrowaste using N-2 carbonization followed by physical activation with CO2 or steam.