Main Article Content
Activated carbon is a porous carbonaceous material with high adsorption capacity that can be used as adsorbent material for purification of liquids and gases. In this research work, Pyrolytic conversion of plantain stems into activated carbon was carried out. The study was aim at comparing two chemical activating agents to determine the most suitable one for the preparation of activated carbon from plantain stems. The activating agents used were H2SO4 and HNO3. Waste plantain stems were carbonized at 500–750°C and activated at 600°C to produce activated carbon. The effect of various activating agents on percentage yield, ash content (AC), percentage burn-off, bulk density, surface area determination, moisture content determination, fixed carbon, methylene blue number, loss on ignition, pore volume, and iodine number was characterized. From the results, it was observed that H2SO4 at activation temperature of 600°C gave the highest value of bulk density with increasing impregnation ratios of 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, and 0.5, with the value ranging from 0.2223 to 0.2561 g/cm3 followed by HNO3 ranging from 0.2225 to 0.2359 g/cm3. The values of percentage yield show that H2SO4 activation was observed to have 77% as the overall best higher than HNO3 with 76% which shows that the activation temperature at 600°C does not favor the impregnation ratio of HNO3 but rather favors H2SO4, and with HNO3 low percentage yield resulted in high percentage burn-off at 33–29%. It was observed that the AC of each of the impregnation ratios of different activating agents was high because it ranged from 33.6% to 39.4%. Similarly, the iodine number obtained showed that iodine adsorption of activated carbon prepared with H2SO4 with activation temperature at 600°C is the best because the micropores content on the surface of activated carbon was the highest at the impregnated ratio of 1337.1–1269.1 g/kg while that of HNO3 had the lowest value though chemical activation values were better than thermal valves which shows that H2SO4 as activating agent was found to be the best for the preparation of activated carbon from plantain stems.
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