12 July 2024
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Activated Carbon Synthesis from Palm Kernel Shells

In a recent study conducted by researchers at Universiti Teknologi MARA, a groundbreaking advancement in methane storage technology has been achieved. The study, published in the Journal of Bioresources and Bioproducts, focused on synthesizing activated carbon (AC) from palm kernel shells (PKS) to enhance methane storage capacity. This development is crucial in the context of the global shift towards cleaner fuels, with methane being recognized as a promising alternative to traditional fossil fuels.

The researchers utilized a meticulous process involving the impregnation of PKS with zinc chloride, followed by carbonization and activation with different agents such as steam, carbon dioxide (CO2), and a combination of both. The resulting AC samples were then characterized for surface area, pore volume, and size, with methane adsorption capacity measured at room temperature using a volumetric approach.

Enhanced Methane Adsorption Capabilities

The study revealed that AC produced through a combination of CO2 and steam activation exhibited superior characteristics, including the highest burn-off and surface area. This translated into a maximum methane gas adsorption capacity of 4.500 mol/kg. The data analysis using the Freundlich isotherm model indicated multilayer adsorption on the AC surface, showing the effectiveness of the synthesized AC in storing methane gas.

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Moreover, kinetic analysis demonstrated that the adsorption process followed the pseudo-first-order model, suggesting that the rate of methane adsorption was influenced by both the adsorbent and the adsorbate, primarily governed by physical adsorption. The study also employed the intraparticle diffusion model to understand the rate-controlling steps in the adsorption process, highlighting the efficiency of the synthesized AC in methane capture.

Sustainable Application and Environmental Impact

The research findings not only present a significant advancement in methane storage technology but also pave the way for the sustainable use of PKS, a byproduct of the palm oil industry. By repurposing PKS into activated carbon for methane storage, the study contributes to reducing waste and promoting environmentally friendly practices within the industry.

Furthermore, the enhanced methane adsorption capabilities of the synthesized AC offer a promising solution for the clean energy sector. The potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 25%–30% compared to traditional fuels showcases the environmental impact of this innovation. In a time when combating climate change is a global priority, advancements like this play a crucial role in driving the transition towards a more sustainable future.

Implications for Clean Energy and Global Sustainability

The discovery of the sequential combination of CO2 and steam activation as an effective method for producing AC with superior methane adsorption capabilities holds significant implications for the clean energy sector. As the world seeks to adopt cleaner fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, technologies that enhance methane storage efficiency become increasingly important.

The research conducted by Universiti Teknologi MARA not only contributes to the advancement of methane storage technology but also aligns with the broader goal of achieving global sustainability. By utilizing renewable resources such as PKS to produce activated carbon for methane storage, the study exemplifies how innovation in the scientific community can lead to tangible environmental benefits and support the transition towards a greener future.

Links to additional Resources:

1. www.sciencedirect.com/ 2. www.nature.com/ 3. www.acs.org/

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: Activated carbon, Palm kernel shells, Methane adsorption

Activated carbon
Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, is a form of carbon commonly used to filter contaminants from water and air, among many other uses. It is processed (activated) to have small, low-volume pores that greatly increase the surface area available for adsorption or chemical reactions that can be thought of...
Read more: Activated carbon

Palm kernel
The palm kernel is the edible seed of the oil palm fruit. The fruit yields two distinct oils: palm oil derived from the outer parts of the fruit, and palm kernel oil derived from the kernel. The pulp left after oil is rendered from the kernel is formed into "palm...
Read more: Palm kernel

Adsorption
Adsorption is the adhesion of atoms, ions or molecules from a gas, liquid or dissolved solid to a surface. This process creates a film of the adsorbate on the surface of the adsorbent. This process differs from absorption, in which a fluid (the absorbate) is dissolved by or permeates a...
Read more: Adsorption

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