CHE Seminars  

Prof. David Arnold (University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
The production and use of activated Carbon from sugarcane bagasse
Thursday,  13 January 2005
L-12  Lecture Hall Complex
4.00 to 5.00 p.m.

Activated carbons were produced from compressed South African sugar cane bagasse in a pyrolysis furnace by adopting the physical method of processing viz. carbonization followed by partial gasification with steam. Feasible processing conditions were determined by varying the temperature, hold times and partial pressure of steam in the reactor at a heating rate of 10 C/min. Consequently, the char and activated carbons were characterized by iodine, methylene blue and molasses numbers, surface area, pore volume and pore size distribution. Activated carbons exhibiting the best properties were produced by pyrolysis at 680 C and a hold-time of 1 hour followed by activation with steam at 900 C for 2 hours reaching a 50% burn-off.  The resultant activated carbon's ability to adsorb colour from raw sugar was also investigated and compared to a commercial reference carbon. Results reveal that activated carbon produced from sugar-cane bagasse has a significant potential in the sugar industry.  Pilot plant studies have confirmed the initial results.