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Role of pulping process as synergistic treatment on performance of agro-based activated carbons

Abstract : To recommend the beneficial effect of the pulping process on enhancing agro-wastes as precursors for the production of high-performance activated carbons (ACs), different pulping methods (alkali, sulfite and neutral sulfite) were applied on two available Egyptian agriculture by-products (rice straw and sugar cane bagasse), using the one-step pyrolysis method and H3PO4 activating agent. The adsorption performance of the different prepared ACs was evaluated in terms of Iodine Numbers and their sorption properties for removing the methylene blue (MB) from aqueous solutions. The corresponding sorption processes were also analysed using Lagergren first order, pseudo-second order and intraparticle diffusion models. Data revealed that the applied pulping conditions were effective for removing the non-cellulosic constituents of agro-residues. This was demonstrated by the hydrogen/carbon and oxygen/carbon ratios, thermal stability and IR-measurements of the final pulps. These data were effective on the particular sorption properties of RS and SCB-based ACs. Interestingly, the pulping process is a profound modification of the SCB-based fibres, on which it induced a clear increase of the specific surface areas of the corresponding ACs even though they had an impact on the sorption of MB and iodine. These values are superior to the reported data on agro-based ACs with H3PO4 activators. Pulping processes therefore play a dual role in the sorption properties of ACs. The first important role is the impact on the specific surface areas and the second impact is a profound modification of the surface chemistry of the ACs. Therefore, SCB-based ACs can be seen as an economical breakthrough product, and an alternative to the high-cost commercial ACs for the purification of industrial wastewaters.
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Altaf Basta, Vivian Lotfy, Philippe Trens. Role of pulping process as synergistic treatment on performance of agro-based activated carbons. Royal Society Open Science, The Royal Society, 2019, 6 (7), pp.190579. ⟨10.1098/rsos.190579⟩. ⟨hal-02282189⟩

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