Manufacturing Options for Activated Carbons with Selected Synthetic Polymers as Binders

Materials (Basel). 2024 Apr 11;17(8):1753. doi: 10.3390/ma17081753.


Formed activated carbon (AC) is a multipurpose product with developed adsorption properties that is widely used in various areas of life. To create AC, hard coal has to go through various processes: grinding, granulation, carbonization, physical and/or chemical activation. Presented research was conducted in the professional company manufacturing activated carbons. Studied AC reached the demanded shape of grains thanks to binders added to granulation process. Research on the AC formed using new polymeric binders (applied so far in other branches: pharmacy and construction materials) is presented in this manuscript. Tested binders were not used before to manufacture ACs in the professional technological line. Such polymers as: sodium carboxymethylhydrocellulose (CMHC), poly[1-(2-oxo-1-pyrrolidinyl)ethylene] (POPE) and enriched methyl-hydroxypropyl cellulose MHPC were studied in this work. Conducted research has proven efficiency of 8% CMHC which allowed for proper granulation and carbonization and reached the best parameters. Single- and double-stage activation was investigated for AC with this binder. For newly manufactured AC BET surface and pore volume increased accordingly from 774 m2/g and 0.58 cm3/g (1-stage) to 968 m2/g and 0.72 cm3/g (2-stage). Chemical elemental features of surface of the best AC showed beside elementary carbon also calcium, silicon and aluminum ions as well as groups with an acidic character, phosphates, sulphates and chlorides. The new AC had a higher Mechanical Strength reaching 99.9% and a lower Ash content and Volatile Matter than AC manufactured with previous binder-molasse. The new AC is intended to be directed for full production line and implementation to usage after positive certification. It may be useful in water treatment. It will also find application in the treatment of industrial and municipal wastewater.

Keywords: AC binders; activated carbon; activation; adsorption; carbonization.

Grants and funding

This research was funded by the Polish Ministry of Higher Education and Science grant number W/WB-IIŚ/2/2021.