Efficient reuse of waste water requires removal of micro-pollutants from waste
water streams by affordable and sustainable methods. Activated carbon is
considered a powerful adsorbent due to its high surface area and low cost of
treatment, compared to other expensive methods such as membrane filtration.
Producing activated carbon with larger mesoporosity (>2nm) is of particular
interest in industry in the removal of larger molecular sized pollutants.
This study reports the synthesis of mesoporous activated carbons from a nonsoluble
biomass precursor (date-pits) along with chemical activation using ZnCl2.
Thus, produced activated carbon showed high surface area and large mesopore
volume up to 1571 m2/g and 2.00 cm3/g respectively. In addition, the pore size of
the product was as high as 9.30 nm. As a method of verification, HRTEM (Highresolution
transmission electron microscopy) was used to directly authenticate the
pore size of the synthesized activated carbons.
Tannic acid and atrazine were used as model waste water pollutants and the
adsorption capability of the produced activated carbon for these pollutants were
evaluated and compared to a commercial mesoporous carbon: G60 from Norit. The
results showed that the sorption capacity of produced activated carbon for tannic
acid was 2 times that of G60 while the sorption capacity of produced activated
carbon for atrazine was lower than that of G60. The activated carbon was also
evaluated for adsorption of real secondary effluent municipal wastewater and the
results suggest that the produced activated carbon was able to sorb a greater
amount of biopolymers than G60. These results demonstrate that the thus-produced
activated carbon may be a promising sorbent for waste water treatment.
|Date of Award
- Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
|Peng Wang (Supervisor)
- waste water