Comparative study of the textural characteristics of oil palm shell activated carbon produced by chemical and physical activation for methane adsorption

Arash Arami-Niya, Wan Mohd Ashri Wan Daud, Farouq S. Mjalli

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69 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study is to relate textural and surface characteristics of microporous activated carbon to their methane adsorption capacity. Oil palm shell was used as a raw material for the preparation of pore size controlled activated carbon adsorbents. The chemical treatment was followed by further physical activation with CO2. Samples were treated with CO2 flow at 850°C by varying activation time to achieve different burn-off activated carbon. H3PO4 chemically activated samples under CO2 blanket showed higher activation rates, surface area and micropore volume compared to other activation methods, though this sample did not present high methane adsorption. Moreover, it was shown that using small proportion of ZnCl2 and H3PO4 creates an initial narrow microporosity. Further physical activation grantees better development of pore structure. In terms of pore size distribution the combined preparation method resulted in a better and more homogenous pore size distribution than the conventional physical activation method. Controlling the pore size of activated carbon by this combined activation technique can be utilized for tuning the pore size distribution. It was concluded that the high surface area and micropore volume of activated carbons do not unequivocally determine methane capacities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-664
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Research and Design
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011



  • Activation
  • Methane adsorption
  • Palm shell activated carbon
  • Pore size distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)

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