The production of agricultural waste is associated with environmental problems and risks to public health. The general interest demands, as an ecological alternative, the proper management of waste generated by industrial activity through its transformation into value-added products. Carbonization/activation (2 h/2 h) at 700 °C in a vertical furnace (20 K/min), to produce biochar and activated carbon (AC) from bamboo, orange, and paulownia residue, was carried out in a laboratory facility with physical activation by CO2 and steam. The characterization of the carbonaceous material obtained was based on the determination of the N2 adsorption-desorption isotherms at 77 K, the specific surface area with the BET procedure, and its internal structure by means of SEM images. The BET surface area values obtained as a function of the CO2/steam agent used were 911/1182 m2/g, 248/388 m2/g, and 800/1166 m2/g for bamboo, orange, and paulownia, respectively. The range of variation of porosity in paulownia residue generated after steam activation was 485-1166 m2/g, varying depending on the degree of maturity of the biomass used. Research has shown that both the type of activation agent used to produce AC and the degree of plant maturation of the precursor residue affect the quality and characteristics of the final product.
Keywords: activation; agricultural waste; carbonization; maturity; valorization; vertical furnace.