Closing the active carbon cycle: Regeneration of spent activated carbon from a wastewater treatment facility for resource optimization

Jumoke Oladejo, Kaiqi Shi, Yipei Chen, Xiang Luo, Yang Gang, Tao Wu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study focusses on the regeneration of spent activated carbon sourced from a wastewater treatment facility using both conventional and microwave reactors with similar reaction parameters. The active carbon was characterized by iodine and methylene blue adsorption as a measure of micro- and mesoporosity. The process parameters were adjusted to identify the influence of intensifying operating parameter on the effectiveness of the regeneration process. Optimal activity was observed in the sample regenerated at 600 °C for 2 h in CO2. There was a 17.1 % and 141 % increase in iodine and methylene cyanine adsorption values, respectively, versus the spent activated carbon. This indicates restoration of ∼83 % and ∼90 % of the adsorptive capabilities of fresh activated carbon. The adsorption properties of regenerated carbon are enhanced in microwave reactors under CO2 atmosphere due to the benefits of microwave heating in expediting the thermal desorption of adsorbates via devolatilization and partial oxidation with minimal disruption to the carbon's pore structure. This demonstrates the feasibility and advantage of microwave reactors for reactivating spent active carbon and the importance of reaction parameter optimization for obtaining regenerated active carbon with enhanced quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107878
JournalChemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification
Volume150
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Activated carbon
  • Iodine value
  • Methylene blue value
  • Microwave
  • Regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Chemical Engineering (all)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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