This column is based on “Activated Carbon Production Process – Cost Analysis,” a report published by Intratec. It can be found at: www.intratec.us/analysis/activated-carbon-production-cost.
Activated carbon, also known as activated charcoal or activated coal, is an inert solid composed mostly of carbon atoms, processed to have porous structure and a large internal surface area. These unique characteristics impart adsorptive properties that make activated carbon attractive for use in a range of liquid- and gas-phase applications.
The following paragraphs describe activated carbon production from coconut shells, which involves two main steps: carbonization of coconut shells into shell charcoal, followed by steam activation at high temperatures. Figure 1 presents a simplified flow diagram of the process.
Figure 1. Shown here are the major process steps in the production process for activated carbon[/caption]
Carbonization. Initially, coconut shells are fed to a crusher, where the size of the shells are reduced. The crushed material is fed to a flash dryer to remove moisture, and then fed to a rotary kiln to be carbonized. The shell fragments are heated under nitrogen in such a way that non-carbonaceous material…