Production of activated carbon from tea waste and its application in water treatment

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Research Paper 01/07/2017
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Production of activated carbon from tea waste and its application in water treatment

Tea waste, Activating agent, Activated carbon, Adsorption activity, Water treatment
J. Bio. Env. Sci.11( 1), 36-43, July 2017.
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Activated carbon is known as one of the most environment friendly adsorbents for its consumption in industries as well as in water treatment. The purpose of the study was to utilize tea waste as a low cost and readily available natural precursor for production of this valuable adsorbent by simple methods and to apply the product for water treatment. Dried tea wastes of two local brands treated with 0.5M and 1M sulfuric acid as an activating agent were subjected to direct combustion, carbonization at 500oC and sieving to produce activated carbon. The product was characterized for its adsorption activity through determination of iodine number, moisture and ash content, pH and percentage yield. Percentage yield of the activated carbons was more with 0.5M activating agent (24.6% and26.4%) compared to the yield with 1M activating agent (23.4% and 25%). Higher iodine number (672.3mg/g and 597.6mg/g) with 1M activating agent indicates better adsorption activity of the activated carbons compared to 0.5M concentration (224.1mg/g and 373.5mg/g). Higher molarity of sulfuric acid reduced total dissolved solids and turbidity more while increasing the dissolved oxygen both in canal and lake water samples compared to the untreated ones. The color removing ability was also checked. A change towards lighter color intensity for activated carbon treated red, green and yellow food color aqueous solutions was confirmed by spectrophotometric analysis. It is concluded that 1M sulfuric acid is a better option for producing activated carbon from tea waste and that the product is an effective adsorbent for water purification.


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