Low-cost activated carbon production from organic waste and its utilization for wastewater treatment

Shukla, Sudheer K.; Al Mushaiqri, Noof R. S.; Al Subhi, Hajar M.; Yoo, Keunje; Al Sadeq, Hafez

In the present study, organic waste materials, like coconut shell, orange peels, and banana peels were used to produce activated carbon. Chemical activation was carried out using phosphoric acid (H3PO4). The activation temperatures were selected at the range of 200–300 °C. Surface morphology of the different activated carbon derived from the different waste materials was investigated using scanning electron microscope. Pollution removal efficiency of different activated carbons was carried out by Jar test. The jar test was carried out at 120 rpm, at 20 °C temperature for 1 h. Three different sizes; 75 μm, 150 μm and 425 μm, and three concentration; 100 mg/l, 200 mg/l and 500 mg/l of the activated carbon were selected for the pollution removal experiments. Water quality parameters like pH, TSS, and COD were analyzed using standard AWWA/APHA methods to know the pollution removal efficiency. COD removal varies from 48 to 99% in different activated carbon at different size and concentration. TSS removal varies from 43 to 100% by different activated carbon. The highest adsorption was observed by 75 µm activated carbon. Among all the experimented materials activated carbon made from orange peels performed better than others possibly due to the formation of more C–O and C=O functional groups due to the presence of more carbon and oxygen elements than others. This study opens a new way of wastewater treatment in Oman by using low-cost activated carbon made from locally available organic waste and at the same time, it shall help in managing organic waste.


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Applied Water Science

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Published Here
September 22, 2023


Activated carbon, Adsorbent materials, Coconut shell, Banana peels, Orange peels, Wastewater treatment