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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Activated Carbons from Flax Shive and Cotton Gin Waste as Environmental Adsorbents for the Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Trichloroethylene

Authors
item Klasson, K Thomas
item Wartelle, Lynda
item Lima, Isabel
item Marshall, Wayne
item Akin, Danny

Submitted to: Bioresource Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 4, 2009
Publication Date: July 16, 2009
Repository URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10113/33381
Citation: Klasson, K.T., Wartelle, L.H., Lima, I.M., Marshall, W.E., Akin, D.E. Activated Carbons from Flax Shive and Cotton Gin Waste as Environmental Adsorbents for the Chlorinated Hydrocarbon Trichloroethylene. Bioresource Technology. 100(21):5045-5050.

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural by-products is produced in large volumes during harvest. The use of by-products as a starting material for the production of activated carbon as a value-added material. Our objective in this paper is to show that flax shive and cotton gin waste can serve as a precursor for activated carbon that can be used for adsorption of trichloroethylene (TCE) from both air and water. Testing was conducted on carbon activated with phosphoric acid or steam. The results show that activated carbon made from flax shive performed better than select commercial activated carbons, especially at higher TCE concentrations. The activation method employed had little effect on TCE adsorption in gas or vapor phase studies but liquid phase studies suggested that steam activation is slightly better than phosphoric acid activation. As expected, the capacity for the activated carbons depended on how much TCE was present. The higher the concentration, the more was removed.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural by-products represent a considerable quantity of harvested commodity crops. The use of by-products as a starting material for the production of widely used adsorbents, such as activated carbons, may impart a value-added component of the overall biomass harvested. Our objective in this paper is to show that flax shive and cotton gin waste can serve as a precursor for activated carbon that can be used for adsorption of trichloroethylene (TCE) from both the liquid and gas phases. Testing was conducted on carbon activated with phosphoric acid or steam. The results show that activated carbon made from flax shive performed better than select commercial activated carbons, especially at higher TCE concentrations. The activation method employed had little effect on TCE adsorption in gas or vapor phase studies but liquid phase studies suggested that steam activation is slightly better than phosphoric acid activation. As expected, the capacity for the activated carbons depended on the fluid phase equilibrium concentration. At a fluid concentration of 2 mg of TCE/L of fluid, the capacity of the steam activated carbon made from flax shive was similar at 64 and 80 mg TCE/g of carbon for the vapor and liquid phase, respectively. Preliminary cost estimates suggest that the production costs of such carbons are $1.50 to $8.90 per kg, depending on activation method and precursor material; steam activation was significantly less expensive than phosphoric acid activation.

Last Modified: 11/26/2014
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