DEVELOPMENT OF ACTIVATED CARBONS FROM COAL COMBUSTION BY-PRODUCTS

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The increasing role of coal as a source of energy in the 21st century will demand environmental and cost-effective strategies for the use of coal combustion by-products (CCBPs), mainly unburned carbon in fly ash. Unburned carbon is nowadays regarded as a waste product and its fate is mainly disposal, due to the present lack of efficient routes for its utilization. However, unburned carbon is a potential precursor for the production of adsorbent carbons, since it has gone through a devolatilization process while in the combustor, and therefore, only requires to be activated. Accordingly, the principal objective of this work was ... continued below

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86 pages

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Schobert, Harold H.; Maroto-Valer, M. Mercedes & Lu, Zhe September 30, 2003.

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  • Pennsylvania State University
    Publisher Info: Pennsylvania State University (United States)
    Place of Publication: [University Park, Pennsylvania]

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The increasing role of coal as a source of energy in the 21st century will demand environmental and cost-effective strategies for the use of coal combustion by-products (CCBPs), mainly unburned carbon in fly ash. Unburned carbon is nowadays regarded as a waste product and its fate is mainly disposal, due to the present lack of efficient routes for its utilization. However, unburned carbon is a potential precursor for the production of adsorbent carbons, since it has gone through a devolatilization process while in the combustor, and therefore, only requires to be activated. Accordingly, the principal objective of this work was to characterize and utilize the unburned carbon in fly ash for the production of activated carbons. The unburned carbon samples were collected from different combustion systems, including pulverized utility boilers, a utility cyclone, a stoker, and a fluidized bed combustor. LOI (loss-on-ignition), proximate, ultimate, and petrographic analyses were conducted, and the surface areas of the samples were characterized by N2 adsorption isotherms at 77K. The LOIs of the unburned carbon samples varied between 21.79-84.52%. The proximate analyses showed that all the samples had very low moisture contents (0.17 to 3.39 wt %), while the volatile matter contents varied between 0.45 to 24.82 wt%. The elemental analyses show that all the unburned carbon samples consist mainly of carbon with very little hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur and oxygen In addition, the potential use of unburned carbon as precursor for activated carbon (AC) was investigated. Activated carbons with specific surface area up to 1075m{sup 2}/g were produced from the unburned carbon. The porosity of the resultant activated carbons was related to the properties of the unburned carbon feedstock and the activation conditions used. It was found that not all the unburned carbon samples are equally suited for activation, and furthermore, their potential as activated carbons precursors could be inferred from their physical and chemical properties. The developed porosity of the activated carbon was a function of the oxygen content, porosity and H/C ratio of the parent unburned carbon feedstock. It was observed that extended activation times and high activation temperatures increased the porosity of the produced activated carbon at the expense of the solid yield. The development of activated carbon from unburned carbon in fly ash has been proven to be a success by this study in terms of the higher surface areas of the resultant activated carbons, which are comparable with commercial activated carbons. However, unburned carbon samples obtained from coal-fired power plants as by-product have high ash content, which is unwanted for the production of activated carbons. Therefore, the separation of unburned carbon from the fly ash is expected to be beneficial for the utilization of unburned carbon to produce activated carbons with low ash content.

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86 pages

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OSTI as DE00822988

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  • Other Information: PBD: 30 Sep 2003

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FG26-99FT40593
  • DOI: 10.2172/822988 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 822988
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc784725

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  • September 30, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Feb. 20, 2017, 1:26 p.m.

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Schobert, Harold H.; Maroto-Valer, M. Mercedes & Lu, Zhe. DEVELOPMENT OF ACTIVATED CARBONS FROM COAL COMBUSTION BY-PRODUCTS, report, September 30, 2003; [University Park, Pennsylvania]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc784725/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.