My final year project !! Episode #2 - Magic Charcoal

February 11, 2011 iPai 2 Comments


Previously, I posted about my final year project which is called The Production of Activated Carbon From Palm Oil Shell.

Today, I will share with you guys about the application of the activated carbon. As you can read from the previous post (link is up there), the activated carbon produced will be having many pores inside the material. You may see the activated carbon are just small particle as big as tiny beads, but inside there are pores.

The amazing facts about this pores are, the surface area that could get from the pore. From the OTAI (old timer a.k.a professional) researcher, they could get up to 1200 metre square per gram. Yup. 1 gram of the activated carbon they produced is equal 1200 metre square surface area. If 2 grams, 2400 metre square. The size of the football field, (source from Fédération Internationale de Football Association) a football field is;

120 m x 90 m equals to 1080 metre square

If we compared the size of the football field with the activated carbon surface area, the activated carbon is as vast/wide as the football field. And that is only for 1 gram. If I have 5 grams, I already have 5-6 football field area in my hand.

Now, imagine the vast surface area of the activated carbon have a tiny sticky molecule that function to hold other molecule. The activated carbon could adsorp the molecule in the gas and the liquid phase (see the first picture shown above) . In the environment application, the activated carbon can be used to adsorp hazardous molecule before the waste water that is discharge from the factory to the river. (Adsorp - imagine it like a span which adsorp the water)

To help you understand more, I prepared a few pictures from my experiment in the application of the activated carbon;
This a solution with a dye in it. A dye is a colour pigment. In this case the colour pigment is blue and it is so highly concentrated as we only see it as dark blue colour, it is 100 ppm. (ppm stand for part per million a unit represent concentration). The dark blue colour is called methylene blue;
Methylene blue molecule

Then we put the activated carbon in it, and leave it for a night. Tomorrow morning you will get this;
Yup. Believe it or not, the dark blue colour molecule have been adsorp (imagine like a span) by the activated carbon. This is just for colour molecule. Same application can be use for other process. Even now, I heard, some company are selling the activated carbon which place in the small box. And this box can be put in the fridge which to adsorp the odour in the fridge.

Other than that, have you seen the water filtration which become famous right now, for example Coway, Elken or the one that been place in front of the shop which you buy 20 cents for 0.5 L (if I not mistaken), all of it are using the activated carbon as part of the water filtration process.
Different size and type of activated carbon been use in this filtration process.

Believe it or not ?