Synthesis and Characterization of Acidic Activated Carbon from Corncobs for Adsorption Desulfurization of Simulated Crude Oil
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University of Baghdad
Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
These authors had equal contribution to this work
Corresponding author
Haider Abdulkareem Aljendeel   

University of Baghdad
J. Ecol. Eng. 2024; 25(8)
Corncob is an agricultural biomass waste that was widely investigated as an adsorbent of contaminants after transforming it into activated carbon. In this research carbonization and chemical activation processes were achieved to synthesize corncob-activated carbon (CAC). Many pretreatment steps including crushing, grinding, and drying to obtain corncob powder were performed before the carbonization step. The carbonization of corncob powder has occurred in the absence of air at a temperature of 500 °C. The chemical activation was accomplished by using HCl as an acidic activation agent. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) facilitated the characterization of (CAC). The results showed the CAC has non-uniform morphological features with different shapes of its active sites. The prepared CAC was utilized in adsorption of sulfur in its highly complex form of dibenzothiophene (DBT). Particular adsorption parameters of contacting time, temperature, and adsorbent dose were optimized to select the best conditions. These certain conditions are then applied in the adsorption of different DBT concentrations. The maximum removal of DBT reached around 83% at optimal conditions of contacting time (30 min), temperature (60 °C), and adsorbent dose (3 g L-1). The removal efficiency was significantly increased by decreasing the initial concentration of DBT. The experimental data fitted well with the Freundlich isotherm model compared with the Langmuir one. The maximum capacity of CAC for adsorption of DBT at equilibrium was 833.3 mg g-1 at 60 °C. The findings of this research introduce the CAC as a feasible adsorbent for removal DBT from simulated liquid petroleum fuels.
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