Preparation of activated carbons from raw and biotreated agricultural residues for removal of volatile organic compounds

Hsing Cheng Hsi, Richard S. Horng, Tai An Pan, Shin Ku Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Activated carbons with diverse physical and chemical properties were produced from four agriculture residues, including raw barley husk, biotreated barley husk, rice husk, and pistachio shell. Results showed that with adequate steam activation (30-90 min, 50% H2O(g)/50% N2), activated carbons with surface areas between 360 and 950 m2 g-1 were developed. Further increases in the activation time destroyed the pore structure of activated carbons, which resulted in a decrease in the surface area and pore volume. Biotreated agricultural residues were found to be suitable precursors for producing mesoporous activated carbons. The oxygen content of activated carbons increased with increasing activation time. Results from X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy examination further suggested that H2O molecules react with the carbon surface, enhancing the deconvoluted peak area of carbonyl and carboxyl groups. Equilibrium adsorption of toluene indicated that the adsorption capacities increased with an increase in the inlet toluene concentration and a decrease in temperature. The adsorption isotherms were successfully fitted with Freundlich, Langmuir, and Dubinin- Radushkevich equations. Activated carbons derived from agricultural residues appear to be more applicable to adsorb volatile organic compounds at a low concentration and high-temperature environment. copy; 2011 Air & Waste Management Association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-551
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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