FERRER, V.; FLORES, M.; GRANDÓN, H.; ESCALONA, N.; SEGURA, C.:
J. Braz. Chem. Soc., Vol. 34, No. 2, 287-301, 2023.
Activated carbons (ACs) from olive stone were prepared using CO2, steam, KOH, and H3PO4 as activating agents. The resultant activated carbons were characterized by proximate and ultimate analysis, N2 adsorption (Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) method), iodine number, Boehm titration, temperature-programmed desorption (TPD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Ammonia (NH3) was used as a test molecule to be adsorbed. The BET surface areas of the ACs obtained ranged from 1000 to 1986 m2 g-1. Type I isotherms were obtained for all the samples, although steam and H3PO4 ACs showed a significant mesopore contribution. KOH activation resulted in carbon with a high microporosity (98%) and high iodine adsorption (1030 mg g-1). KOH AC prepared with a KOH/pyrolyzed char weight ratio of 2 and at 900 °C showed the highest NH3 adsorption (252 mg g-1), favored by the high microporosity and adequate acidity. Chemical activation (KOH and H3PO4) promotes higher NH3 adsorption than the physical ACs prepared (CO2 and steam). Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption equilibrium models were used to correlate the NH3 adsorption isotherms, obtaining the best fit for the Freundlich equation. The results indicated that olive stone-based activated carbon could be used for commercial AC to remove NH3 from gaseous streams.