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Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995)

Production of granular activated carbon from food-processing wastes (walnut shells and jujube seeds) and its adsorptive properties.


PMID 25185390

Abstract

Commercial activated carbon is a highly effective absorbent that can be used to remove micropollutants from water. As a result, the demand for activated carbon is increasing. In this study, we investigated the optimum manufacturing conditions for producing activated carbon from ligneous wastes generated from food processing. Jujube seeds and walnut shells were selected as raw materials. Carbonization and steam activation were performed in a fixed-bed laboratory electric furnace. To obtain the highest iodine number, the optimum conditions for producing activated carbon from jujube seeds and walnut shells were 2 hr and 1.5 hr (carbonization at 700 degrees C) followed by 1 hr and 0.5 hr (activation at 1000 degrees C), respectively. The surface area and iodine number of activated carbon made from jujube seeds and walnut shells were 1,477 and 1,184 m2/g and 1,450 and 1,200 mg/g, respectively. A pore-distribution analysis revealed that most pores had a pore diameter within or around 30-40 angstroms, and adsorption capacity for surfactants was about 2 times larger than the commercial activated carbon, indicating that waste-based activated carbon can be used as alternative. Implications: Wastes discharged from agricultural and food industries results in a serious environmental problem. A method is proposed to convert food-processing wastes such as jujube seeds and walnut shells into high-grade granular activated carbon. Especially, the performance of jujube seeds as activated carbon is worthy of close attention. There is little research about the application ofjujube seeds. Also, when compared to two commercial carbons (Samchully and Calgon samples), the results show that it is possible to produce high-quality carbon, particularly from jujube seed, using a one-stage, 1,000 degrees C, steam pyrolysis. The preparation of activated carbon from food-processing wastes could increase economic return and reduce pollution.