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Strategies for Optimizing the Development of Cellulose-Based Activated Carbon Cloths by the Chemical Activation Process (pp.475-508) $100.00
Authors:  (M.E. Ramos, P.R. Bonelli1, A.L. Cukierman, Programa de Investigación y Desarrollo de Fuentes Alternativas de Materias Primas y Energía (PINMATE), Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and others)
Abstract:
The present chapter deals with strategies for optimizing the development of activated
carbon cloths (ACC) through the chemical activation process with ortho-phosphoric acid
solutions, as activating reagent, focusing on two unexplored cellulosic fabrics as
precursors, denim and lyocell. The latter is a novel form of regenerated cellulose
manufactured from wood pulp by an environmentally-friendly process, and is
commercialized through the brand Tencel®. The influence of main variables involved in
the chemical activation process, acid concentration (5-15 %wt), temperature (600-950
ºC), thermal treatment time (0-3 h), and N2 flow rate (100-300 mL min-1), on yield and
physico-chemical characteristics of the resulting ACC is examined. Characterization of
the ACC is carried out by elemental analysis, total acidity determination, X-ray
diffraction, N2 (77 K) adsorption, and scanning electronic microscopy. Phosphoric acid
impregnation of the precursors occasions significant modifications in their thermal
behavior, as evidenced from dynamic thermogravimetic analysis of untreated and
impregnated samples. It leads to shift thermal degradation onset and maximum rate to
lower temperatures, and to increase residual weight fractions, their intensity depending
upon the precursor and acid concentration. Despite substantial changes taking place
during the activation process, all the ACC preserve the original structure of the fabrics
and integrity of the constituting fibres. Process conditions affect appreciably elemental
composition, crystalline structure, surface chemistry and textural properties of the
resulting ACC. In particular, activation of denim demonstrates to promote formation of
acidic functional groups on the surface of the resulting ACC, as evidenced from
enhancement of total acidity. The effect of these functionalities, which are relevant to the
potential use of ACC for toxic metals uptake from wastewater, is verified from assays
involving Zn(II) ions removal from model dilute solutions. Among the process variables,
the thermal treatment temperature exerts a key role on the development of the ACC. For
both precursors, increasing the temperature leads to ACC of higher specific surface area
and total pore volume, although at the expense of lower yields. Nevertheless, the Tencelbased
ACC show a more pronounced development of porosity than those obtained from
denim. At the highest temperature investigated (950 °C) and for the same acid
concentration (10 wt%), keeping otherwise constant conditions, maximum values of 2011
m2/g and 0.67 cm3/g characterize the ACC developed from Tencel, whereas the ACC
obtained from denim show maximum surface area and total pore volume of 1055 m2/g
and 0.53 cm3/g, respectively. Moreover, although all the ACC are essentially
microporous, those derived from Tencel show a pronounced development of a fairly
narrow microporosity, suggesting that they are potentially suited for gaseous effluents
treatment. Prolongation of the thermal treatment time induces an enhanced development
of porous structures for the Tencel-based ACC, whereas increase of the gas flow rate
leads to the opposite effect. The latter might be due to the relatively less oxidative
activation atmosphere generated as a consequence of shorter residence times of the
volatile compounds released. Overall, present results contribute to the tailoring of
cellulose-based activated carbon cloths in terms of desired properties and/or specific end
uses through the strategic selection of main variables involved in the chemical activation
process. 


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Strategies for Optimizing the Development of Cellulose-Based Activated Carbon Cloths by the Chemical Activation Process (pp.475-508)