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Activated Carbons: Classifications, Properties and Applications (pp.239-266) $100.00
Authors:  (John U. Kennedy Oubagaranadin, Z. V. P. Murthy, Department of Ceramic and Cement Technology, PDA College of Engineering, Gulbarga, Karnataka, India, and others)
Abstract:
Activated carbons are processed forms of carbon and are one of the most significant
adsorbent materials due to their highly developed porosity, large surface area ranging
from 500 to 3000 m2/g, variable characteristics of surface chemistry, and high degree of
surface reactivity. Most of the activated carbons are produced by a two-stage process,
viz., carbonization followed by activation. The first-stage, carbonization, is to enrich the
carbon content and to create an initial porosity and the second-stage, activation process,
helps in enhancing the pore structure. Precursors to activated carbons are either of
botanical origin (e.g., wood, coconut shells and nut shells) or of degraded and coalified
plant matter (e.g., peat, lignite and all ranks of coal). Agricultural by-products are also
considered as very important source material for the production of activated carbons as
they are renewable and low-cost materials. Utilization of wastes as raw materials in the
preparation of activated carbon is an interesting alternative to the expensive commercial
activated carbons. Activated carbons may be obtained by physical activation (with steam
or gaseous CO2) or chemical activation by strongly reacting chemicals, such as ZnCl2,
H3PO4 and alkali-metal hydroxides (NaOH and KOH). Chemically activated carbons
have good thermal stability, characteristic porous structure, and large internal surface
area and porous volume. Activated carbons are classified in many ways, although a
general classification can be made based on their physical characteristics, as powdered
activated carbon, granular activated carbon, extruded activated carbon, impregnated
carbon, polymer coated carbon and other types, such as cloths and fibers. They are used
in specific applications. Powdered activated carbons are added directly to process units,
granulated carbons are used for deodorization and for the separation of components in
flow systems, extruded activated carbons are mainly used for gas phase applications,
impregnated carbons are used for specific applications in air pollution control and
polymer coated carbons are useful for hemoperfusion. Properties of activated carbon are:
its specific surface area, iodine index, molasses index, tannin index, methylene blue
index, butane index, carbon tetrachloride index, dechlorination half-value length, density,
hardness number, ash content, porosity and particle size distribution. The indexes give an
idea of the kind of pore a certain carbon has. Activated carbons are used in a wide range
of applications that include medicinal uses, gas storage, pollutant and odor removal, gas
separations, catalysis, gas purification, metal extraction, water purification,
chromatographic separation, chemical purification, trapping mercury, fuel cells and many
other applications. Carbon adsorption has numerous applications in industrial processes;
such as spill cleanup, groundwater remediation, drinking water filtration, air purification,
volatile organic compounds removal, gasoline dispensing operations, and other processes.
With the development of technology, the applications of activated carbons keep
expanding, with newer applications such as super-capacitors, electrodes, gas storage, and
so on. This chapter deals with a short review of preparation of activated carbons from
various raw materials reported in published literature in the recent past. In this chapter the
various classifications, significance of various properties and applications of activated
carbons are treated in detail with cross reference to a number of relevant publications. 


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Activated Carbons: Classifications, Properties and Applications (pp.239-266)