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Production of Activated Carbon from Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) Pod Husk | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2165-784X

Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Open Access

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Research Article

Production of Activated Carbon from Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) Pod Husk

Gerardo Cruz1*, Minna Pirilä2, Mika Huuhtanen2, Lili Carrión2, Emilio Alvarenga2 and Riitta L Keiski2
1National University of Tumbes, Department of Forestry Engineering and Environmental Management, Environmental Analysis Laboratory, Av. Universitaria s/n Campus Universitario - Universidad Nacional de Tumbes, Peru
2University of Oulu, Department of Process and Environmental Engineering, Mass and Heat Transfer Process Laboratory, P.O. Box 4300, FI-90014 University of Oulu, Finland
Corresponding Author : Gerardo Cruz
National University of Tumbes
Department of Forestry Engineering and Environmental Management
Environmental Analysis Laboratory
Av. Universitaria s/n Campus Universitario - Universidad Nacional de
Tumbes, Peru
E-mail: [email protected]
Received January 10, 2012; Accepted February 23, 2012; Published February 25, 2012
Citation: Cruz G, Pirilä M, Huuhtanen M, Carrión L, Alvarenga E, et al. (2012) Production of Activated Carbon from Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) Pod Husk. J Civil Environment Engg 2:109. doi:10.4172/2165-784X.1000109
Copyright: © 2012 Cruz G, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Activated carbons were obtained from cocoa pod husk using two different initial particle sizes (ranges 0.25 – 0.50mm and 0.50 – 1.00mm), three chemical activation agents (K2CO3, KOH and ZnCl2) and carbonization under nitrogen atmosphere during two hours at three different temperatures (500°C, 650°C and 800°C). The prepared activated carbons were characterized using Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) and Langmuir surface areas, pore volume, average pore size, bulk density, moisture, ash content, and yield. The five best activated carbons were selected for further experiments according to the chemical activation agent used, high BET surface area, high pore volume and low ash content. Additionally, content of impurities, carbon content and FE-SEM micrographs were determined for these five best activated carbons. As adsorption tests were also carried out with these samples. Results of the experiments show that cocoa pod husk is a material that can be used to produce activated carbon by chemical activation and ZnCl2 showed to be the best chemical activation agent based on the highest BET surface area (780 m2/g in the best case) and pore volume (0.58 m3/g in the best case), the lowest ash content (6.14% in the best case), and the highest carbon content (86.1% in the best case), compared with others chemicals. Carbons activated by ZnCl2 are capable to adsorb As(V), getting As(V) removal levels up to 80% in less than 1 hour in the experimental conditions applied (initial pH 6-7, activated carbon concentration 0.1 g/l and 0.5 g/l, initial As concentration 100 ppb).


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