Preparation and Characterization of Activated Carbon from Poplar Sawdust by Chemical Activation: Comparison of Different Activating Agents and Carbonization Temperature


  •   Funda Ateş

  •   Öznur Özcan


Activated carbons were prepared from poplar sawdust by chemical activation using ZnCl2, H3PO4 or KOH. The influence of activating agents, carbonization temperatures ranging from 500 ºC to 800 ºC, and mass ratio of chemical agent to precursor (1:1 and 2:1) on the porosity of activated carbons were studied. The properties of the carbons were characterized by adsorption/desorption of nitrogen to determine the BET areas, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). It was determined that the surface morphology and textural characteristics of activated carbons vary depending on the carbonization temperature or chemical agent. Maximum surface areas were obtained at carbonization temperatures of 500, 700 and 800 ºC for H3PO4, KOH and ZnCl2 activation, respectively. The activated carbons prepared using ZnCl2 and H3PO4 activation had a higher BET surface area (nearly 1100 m2/g) than that of the KOH activation (761 m2/g). This study also presents a comparison of mechanisms of activating agents and carbonization temperature. As a result of the experimental studies, positive results were obtained, and the production of activated carbon with a high surface area was conducted. 

Keywords: Biomass, Carbonization, Chemical Activation, Activated Carbon


R. Fonseca-Correa, L. Giraldo and J.C. Moreno-Piraján, “Trivalent chromium removal from aqueous solution with physically and chemically modified corncob waste,” J. Anal. Appl. Pyrolysis. vol. 101, pp. 132-141, 2013.

Y. Wang, Y. Hu, X. Zhao, S. Wang and G. Xing, “Comparisons of Biochar Properties from Wood Material and Crop Residues at Different Temperatures and Residence Times,”.Energy Fuel. Vol. 27, pp. 5890−5899, 2013.

Q.H. Lin, H. Cheng and G.Y. Chena, “Preparation and characterization of carbonaceous adsorbents from sewage sludge using a pilot-scale microwave heating equipment,” J. Anal. Appl. Pyrolysis, vol. 93, pp. 113-119, 2012.

T.H. Liou, “Development of mesoporous structure and high adsorption capacity of biomass-based activated carbon by phosphoric acid and zinc chloride activation,” Chem. Eng. J. vol. 158, pp. 129-142, 2010.

A.M. Yuso, B. Rubiob, and M.T. Izquierdo, “Influence of activation atmosphere used in the chemical activation of almond shell on the characteristics and adsorption performance of activated carbons”, Fuel Process. Technol. Vol. 119, pp. 74-80, 2014.

H. Saygılı, F. Güzel and Y. Onal, “Conversion of grape industrial processing waste to activated carbon sorbent and its performance in cationic and anionic dyes adsorption,” J. Cleaner Product. Vol. 93, pp. 84-93, 2015.

N.M. Haimour, and S. Emeish,” Utilization of date stones for production of activated carbon using phosphoric acid,” Waste Manage. Vol. 2, pp.651-660, 2006.

M.K.B. Gratuito, T. Panyathanmaporn, R.-A. Chumnanklang, N. Sirinuntawittaya, and A. Dutta, “Production of activated carbon from coconut shell: Optimization using response surface methodology,” Bioresource Technol. Vol. 137, pp. 462-470, 2008.

R. Rostamian, M. Heidarpour, S.F. Mousavi, and M. Afyuni, “Characterization and Sodium Sorption Capacity of Biochar and Activated Carbon Prepared from Rice Husk,” J. Agr. Sci. Tech. Vol. 17, pp. 1057-1069, 2015.

R. Bodirlau, and C.A. Teaca, “Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and Thermal Analysis of Lignocellulose Fillers Treated with Organic Anhydrides”. Rom. Journ. Phys. Vol. 54, pp. 93-104, 2009.

P. Khanra, T. Kuila, N.H. Kim, S.H. Bae, D-S. Yu, and J.H. Lee, “Simultaneous bio-functionalization and reduction of graphene oxide by baker’s yeast,” Chem. Eng. J. vol. 18, pp.526-533, 2012.

S. Kloss, F. Zehetner, A. Dellantonio, R. Hamid, F. Ottner, V. Liedtke, M. Schwanninger, M.H. Gerzabek, and G. Soja, “Characterization of Slow Pyrolysis Biochars: Effects of Feedstocks and Pyrolysis Temperature on Biochar Properties,” J. Environ. Qual. Vol. 41, pp. 990-1000, 2012.

H. Marsh and F. Rodríguez-Reinoso, “Activated Carbon”, 1st ed. U.K.: Elsevier Science, 2006, ch 6, pp. 324-327.

Y. Chen, S-R. Zhai, N. Liu, Y. Song, Q-D. An, and X-W. Song, “Dye removal of activated carbons prepared from NaOH-pretreated rice husks by low-temperature solution-processed carbonization and H3PO4 activation,” Bioresource Technol. Vol. 144, pp. 401–409, 2013.

C. Yuhan, W. Qilin, P. Ning, G. Jinghua, and P. Ding, “Rayon-based activated carbon fibers treated with both alkali metal salt and Lewis acid,” Micropor. Mesopor. Mat. Vol. 109 pp. 138–146, 2008.

M.M.S. Ali, N. El-Sai, and B.S. Girgis, “Evaluation and Modeling of High Surface Area Activated Carbon from Date Frond and Application on Some Pollutants,” International Journal of Computational Engineering Research vol. 4, pp. 70-78, 2014.

G.H. Oh, C.H. Yun, and C.R. Park, “Role of KOH in the One-Stage KOH Activation of Cellulosic Biomass,” Carbon Sci. vol. 4, pp. 180–184, 2003.

D. Lozano-Castello M.A. Lillo-Rodenas, D. Cazorla-Amoros, and A. Linares-Solano, “Preparation of activated carbons from Spanish Anthracite I. Activation by KOH,” Carbon vol. 39, pp.741–749, 2001.

D. Çuhadaroğlu, and O.A. Uygun, “Production and characterization of activated carbon from a bituminous coal by chemical activation,” African Journal of Biotechnology. Vol. 20, pp.3703-3710, 2008.

K.P. Gadkaree, and M. Jaroniec, “Pore structure development in activated carbon honeycombs,” Carbon vol. 38, pp. 983-993, 2000.

R.H. Hesas, A. Arami-Niya, W.M.A. Wan Daud, and J.N. Sahu “Preparation and characterization of activated carbon from apple waste by microwave-assisted phosporic acid activation: application in methylene blue adsorption,” Bioresources vol. 8, pp. 2950-2966, 2013.

K. Mohanty, J. Mousam C. Meikap, and M.N. Biswas, “Preparation and Characterization of Activated Carbons from Terminalia Arjuna Nut with Zinc Chloride Activation for the Removal of Phenol from Wastewater,” Ind. Eng. Chem.Res. vol. 44, pp. 4128-4138, 2005.


Download data is not yet available.


How to Cite
Ateş, F. and Özcan, Öznur 2018. Preparation and Characterization of Activated Carbon from Poplar Sawdust by Chemical Activation: Comparison of Different Activating Agents and Carbonization Temperature. European Journal of Engineering Research and Science. 3, 11 (Nov. 2018), 6-11. DOI: