The production of granular activated carbon from agricultural waste products

Van Dyk, Lizelle Doreen (2000-12)

Thesis (MEng)--University of Stellenbosch, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Peach and apricot shells are agricultural waste products. These waste products accumulate around canneries and food-processing plants in South Africa. No effort is being made to utilise these waste products. This study is the first part of the product development from these products i.e. peach shell activated carbon and apricot shell activated carbon. By producing activated carbon from peach and apricot shells the solid waste problem is addressed, but most of all a profit can be made. But why activated carbon? Activated carbons are unique and versatile adsorbent with a vast amount of adsorption applications. It can be produced via a simple oxidation reaction with steam and the nature of peach and apricot shells are such that it is expected that activated carbons with good adsorption properties can be produced from it. The single largest consumer of activated carbon in South Africa is the gold mining industry that uses imported coconut shell activated carbon for gold adsorption in the gold recovery process. Activated carbon is also used as water purification adsorbents. During this study activated carbons were produced in a fluidized bed reactor at various activation conditions: 700 - 900°C, 0.0425 - 0.0629 g steamlg char.min and 30 - 60 min. This was done in order to find the optimum activation conditions within the activation parameter range. The optimal activated carbons were defined as peach and apricot shell activated carbons that showed good microporous as well as mesoporous character. The optimal activated carbons produced are: peach shell activated at 875°C, 0.0533 g stearnlg char. min, 60 min and apricot shell activated carbon at 850°C, 0.0533 g steamlg char.min, 60min. The possible use of these optimal activated carbons and two other activated carbons produced (Peach shell activated carbon 900°C, 0.0425 g steamlg char. min, 60 min and apricot shell activated carbon 900°C, 0.0425 g steamlg char.min, 60min) were tested in gold recovery and water purification. The gold adsorption properties of peach and apricot shell activated carbons were found to be better than two commercial coconut shell activated carbons (Chemquest 650 and GRC 22). No definite conclusions could, however, be drawn about the replacement of coconut shell activated carbon with peach or apricot shell activated carbon, because abrasion test work and thermal regeneration of the experimental carbons still have to be performed. The experimental activated carbons displayed good phenol adsorption characteristic, although further test work is required.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Perske- en appelkoospitte is landbouafvalprodukte. Hierdie afvalprodukte versamel rondom inmaakfabrieke en voedselververkingsaanlegte. Tans word daar geen poging in Suid-Afrika aangewend om hierdie afvalprodukte te benut nie. Hierdie studie is die eerste deel van die ontwikkeling van die produkte: Perskepitdop-geaktiveerde koolstof en appelkoospitdop-geaktiveerde koolstof. Deur geaktiveerde koolstof van die perske- en appelkoospitdoppe te maak, word nie net 'n antwoord op die vastestofafvalsprobleem gevind nie, maar daar kan ook geld gemaak word. Hoekom geaktiveerde koolstof? Aktiveerde koolstowwe is veelsydige en unieke adsorbente met 'n groot verskeidenheid adsorpsie toepassings. Dit kan vervaardig word via 'n eenvoudige oksidasie reaksie met stoom en die aard van die perske- en appelkoospitdoppe is sodanig, dat verwag kan word om geaktiveerde koolstowwe met goeie adsorpsie eienskappe daarvan te kry. Die grootste enkelverbruiker van geaktiveerde koolstof in Suid-Afrika is die goudmynbedryf, wat kokosneutdop geaktiveerde koolstof invoer om goud te herwin. Geaktiveerde koolstof word ook gebruik vir watersuiwering. Tydens hierdie studie IS geaktiveerde koolstowwe by verskillende aktiveeringskondisies in 'n gevloeïdiseerde bed vervaardig: 700 - 900oe, 0.0425 - 0.0629g stoornlg gepiroliseerde pitdoppe.min en 30 - 60 mm. Die aktiveringskondisies is gevarieer om sodoende die optimale aktiveringskondisies binne die aktiveringsparameterreeks te kry. 'n Geaktiveerde koolstof is as optimaal geklassifiseer as dit 'n goeie mikro- sowel as mesostruktuur getoon het. Die optimaal geaktiveerde koolstowwe is: geaktiveerde koolstof vervaardig van perskepitdoppe by 875°e, 0.0533 g stoornlg gepiroliseerde pitdoppe.min, 60 mm en geaktiveerde koolstof vervaardig van appelkoospitdoppe by 850oe, 0.0533 g stoornlg gepiroliseerde pitdoppe.min, 60min. Die gebruik van die twee optimale geaktiveerde koolstowwe sowel as twee ander geaktiveerde koolstowwe (perskepitdop-geaktiveerde koolstof, 900oe, 0.0425 g stoornlg gepiroliseerde pitdoppe.min, 60 min en appelkoospitdop-geaktiveerde koolstof, 850°C, 0.0533 g stoom/g gepiroliseerde pitdoppe.min, 60min) is VIr goudadsorpsie en watersuiwering ondersoek. Die goudadsorpsie eienskappe van die perske-en appelkoospitdop-geaktiveerde koolstowwe was beter as die van twee kommersiële kokosneutdop-geaktiveerde koolstowwe (Chemquest 650 and GRC 22). Daar kan egter geen definitiewe gevolgtrekkings gemaak word oor die vervanging van kokosneutdop geaktiveerde koolstowwe met dié van perske of appelkoospitdoppe nie, aangesien daar nog toetsresultate oor die slytweerstand en reaktiverings eienskappe van die eksperimentele geaktiveerde koolstowwe uitstaande is. Die eksperimentele geaktiveerde koolstowwe toon goeie adsorpie ten opsigte van fenol, maar verdere toetswerk is egter nodig.

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