Utilization of agricultural waste corn cob for the preparation of carbon adsorbent

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Environ Sci Health B, Volume 36, Number 5, p.677-86 (2001)


0360-1234 (Print)

Accession Number:



Adsorption, Carbon Dioxide/chemistry, Carbon/ chemistry, Carbonates/chemistry, Hydroxides/chemistry, Potassium Compounds/chemistry, Potassium/chemistry, Temperature, Time Factors, Waste Management, Zea mays/ chemistry


In the present study, a series of activated carbons were prepared from agricultural waste corn cob by chemical and physical activations with potassium hydroxide (KOH)/potassium carbonate (K2CO3) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The effect of process variables such as impregnation ratio, impregnation time, activation temperature and soaking time of CO2 was studied in order to relate these preparation parameters with the physical properties of final carbon products. The resulting activated carbons were characterized by nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherms at 77 K. The surface areas and pore volumes of carbons were estimated by the BET equation, the Langmuir equation and the t-plot method. Under the experimental conditions investigated, the main parameters in the activation of corn cob were found to be the impregnation ratio and activation temperature. The soaking time of CO2 is another important variable, which had a strong effect on the pore volume development. The BET surface area and total pore volume were as large as about 2000 m2/g and about 1.0 cm3/g, respectively. This study showed that the activation of agricultural waste corn cob with KOH/K2CO3 and CO2 was suitable for the preparation of large-surface-area activated carbons.


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