M. Baysal, K. Bilge, B. Yılmaz, M. Papila, Y. YÜRÜM
Preparation of high surface area activated carbon from waste-biomass of Sunflower piths:
Kinetics and equilibrium studies on the methylene blue adsorption,
Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 6, 1702-1713, 2018.
Sunflower pith (SP), a vast agricultural waste is herein used as a precursor material for highly porous low density activated carbon production. Porosity and flake-like microstructure of the SP in its natural form are shown by micro-computed tomography (Micro-CT). Carbonization process turns the SP into thin, separated carbon flakes of 200 nm thickness. Two types of alkaline based chemical activation with KOH and NaOH are performed to yield SP based activated carbon (AC), K-SPAC and N-SPAC, respectively. Microstructural changes upon carbonization and activation process are elaborated by RAMAN, FTIR and SEM analyses. BET Surface area of the NaOH-activated N-SPAC was calculated as 2690m2/g and was higher than KOH-activated K-SPAC with 2090m2/g. Maximum adsorption capacity of N-SPAC was calculated as 965 mg/g whereas it was 580 mg/g for K-SPAC. Adsorption kinetic studies for N-SPAC revealed that at a low initial concentration of dye (500 mg/L), the pseudo first-order kinetic model was predictive. On the other hand, at high initial MB concentration (1000 mg/ L), the results indicate that the adsorption kinetics follow the Elovich model with intraparticle diffusion as one of the rate-determining steps. In conclusion, overall results suggest that thanks to its highly porous microstructure, the SP is an alternative renewable AC precursor choice for dye removal applications.