Production of granular activated carbon by chemical activation has been attempted employing walnut shells as the raw material. The thermal characteristics of walnut shell were investigated by TG/DTA and the adsorption capacity of the produced activated carbon was evaluated using the titration method. As the activation temperature increased, the iodine value increased. However, a temperature higher than 400°C resulted in a thermal degradation, which was substantiated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis, and the adsorption capacity decreased. Activation longer than 1h at 375°C resulted in the destruction of the microporous structure of activated carbon. The iodine value increased with the increase in the concentration of ZnCl2 solution. However, excessive ZnCl2 in the solution decreased the iodine value. The extent of activation by ZnCl2 was compared with that by CaCl2 activation. Enhanced activation was achieved when walnut shell was activated by ZnCl2. Applicability of the activated carbon as adsorbent was examined for synthetic copper wastewater. Adsorption of copper ion followed the Freundlich model. Thermodynamic aspects of adsorption have been discussed based on experimental results. The adsorption capacity of the produced activated carbon met the conditions for commercialization and was found to be superior to that made from coconut shell.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported financially by Ministry of Education (BK 21) of Korean Government. The authors acknowledge the SEM analysis by Mr. Sung-Yong Park at Chang Sung Corporation.
- Activated carbon
- Chemical activation
- Cu ion
- Walnut shell