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PREPARATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF ACTIVATED CARBON FROM AGRICULTURAL WASTE BY MICROWAVE IRRADIATION

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Hossam Altaher, Manar Hassan, Fahd ElOufi and Yehia Magdy 

Abstract

In this study, activated carbon was prepared by microwave radiation from dates pits using three chemical activators namely, zinc chloride, phosphoric acid and sulfuric acid. Different preparation conditions like activator type, power and time of microwave radiation were assessed. The efficiency of prepared activated carbon was evaluated by adsorption of methylene blue. The prepared activated carbon was characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier Transform IR (FTIR), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) and elemental analysis. The pore size distribution and the surface area were also determined. Based on the results, the optimum conditions for AC preparation were high power of microwave, and activation for 12 minutes of radiation with zinc chloride as the chemical activator. Under these conditions, the adsorption capacity of MB was 61 mg/g. The activation process has enhanced to a great extent the surface of the precursor by increasing its porosity and its surface area. Most of the pores formed on the surface were macropores which work as conduits to meso and micropores.

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