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Influence of post-treatment strategies on the properties of activated chars from broiler manure

Lima, Isabel M., Boykin, Debbie L., Thomas Klasson, K., Uchimiya, Minori
Chemosphere 2014 v.95 pp. 96-104
activated carbon, adsorption, ash content, calcium, copper, pH, phosphorus, poultry manure, raw materials, sodium, steam, sulfur, surface area, washing, water flow
There are a myriad of carbonaceous precursors that can be used advantageously to produce activated carbons or chars, due to their low cost, availability and intrinsic properties. Because of the nature of the raw material, production of granular activated chars from broiler manure results in a significant ash fraction. This study was conducted to determine the influence of several pre- and post-treatment strategies in various physicochemical and adsorptive properties of the resulting activated chars. Pelletized samples of broiler litter and cake were pyrolyzed at 700°C for 1h followed by a 45min steam activation at 800°C at different water flow rates from 1 to 5mLmin−1. For each activation strategy, samples were either water-rinsed or acid-washed and rinsed or used as is (no acid wash/rinse). Activated char’s physicochemical and adsorptive properties towards copper ions were selectively affected by both pre- and post-treatments. Percent ash reduction after either rinsing or acid washing ranged from 1.1 to 15.1% but washed activated chars were still alkaline with pH ranging from 8.4 to 9.1. Acid washing or water rinsing had no significant effect in the ability of the activated char to adsorb copper ions, however it significantly affected surface area, pH, ash content and carbon content. Instead, manure type (litter versus cake) and the activation water flow rate were determining factors in copper ion adsorption which ranged from 38mgg−1 to 104mgg−1 of activated char. Moreover, strong positive correlations were found between copper uptake and concentration of certain elements in the activated char such as phosphorous, sulfur, calcium and sodium. Rinsing could suffice as a post treatment strategy for ash reduction since no significant differences in the carbon properties were observed between rinsed and acid wash treatments.