Comparative Analysis Of Coal And Coconut Activated Carbon

Project and Seminar Material for Chemical Engineering

Comparative Analysis Of Coal And Coconut Activated Carbon


The experiment was carried out to analyze comparatively coal and coconut activated carbon. The coal sample used in bituminous and with density of 1300kg 1m3 tile coconut shell was used.

The coal and coconut shell was first activated using phosphoric acid. The activated coal and coconut carbons mere then used to bleach palm oil after preliminary treatment of the palm oil.

The 10 dine value, saponification value, peroxide value and acid value of the oil bleached with coal activated carbon and coconut shell activated carbon were determined separately and compared. From the experiment carried out it was discovered that coconut shell activated carbon is a better absorbent than coal activated carbon.

The results obtained from the experiments during experiment can be used to dram further inference on the comparative analysis of coal and coconut activated carbon.

Table of Content

  • Title page i
  • Certification page ii
  • Dedication iii
  • Acknowledgement iv
  • Abstract v
  • Table of content

Chapter One

  • 1.1 History of activated carbon
  • 1.2 Forms of Activated carbon
  • 1.3 Kinds of Activated carbon
  • 1.4 Actuated carbon properties
  • 1.5 Adsorption parameters of activated carbon
  • 1.6 Application of actuated carbon
  • 1.7 Definition of terms

Chapter Two

  • 2.1 History of coal
  • 2.2 Coal formation
  • 2.3 Mining of coal
  • 2.4 Properties of coal
  • 2.5 Rank and classification of coal
  • 2.6 Uses of coal
  • 2.7 Classification of coal
  • 2.8 Coconut
  • 2.9 Classification of coconut palm
  • 2.10 Uses of the coconut palm
  • 2.11 Structure of the coconut palm
  • 2.12 Utilization of coconut shells
  • 2.13 Destructive distillation of coconut shell
  • 2.14 Manufacture of coconut shell charcoal
  • 2.15 Properties of coal and coconut carbon
  • 2.16 Activation of coal carbon
  • 2.17 Types of activated carbon
  • 2.18 Coal based activated carbon
  • 2.19 Properties of coal activated carbon
  • 2.20 Coconut shell-based activated carbon
  • 2.21 Properties of coconut-shell activated carbon

Chapter Three

  • 3.1 Experimental procedure
  • 3.2 Preliminary treatment of palm oil
  • 3.3 Experimental procedure for adsorption process

Chapter Four

  • 4.1 Analysis
  • 4.2 Results

Chapter Five

  • 5.1 Discussion
  • 5.2 Recommendation
  • 5.3 Conclusion

Chapter One


1.1 History of Activated

Activated carbon was first know to treat mater over 2000 yeas ago. It was first produced commercially at the beginning of the 20th century and was only available in powder form. Initially activated carbon was mainly treatment to remove taste and then from 1930 for mater treatment to remove taste and odor. Cranlar activated carbon was developed as a consequence of WWI for gass masks and has been used subsequently for mater treatment, solvent recovery and air purification.

The unique structure of activated carbon produces a very lager surface area.11b of granular activated carbon typically provides a surface area of 125 acres {1kg = 1000000 sq}. Activated carbon be produced form a varnicty of carbonaceous raw material, the primary ones being coal, coconut shills, mood and lignite. The intrinsic properties of the activated carbon are dependent on the raw martial source. The activated carbon surface is non-polar which results in an affinity for non- polar adsorbates such as organics.

Adsorption is a surface phenomenon in which an adsorbate is held onto the surface of the activated carbon by vander maals forces and saturated is represented by an equilibrium point. These forces are physical in nature, which means that the process is reversible (using heal, pressme etc) Activated carbon also capable of chemisorptions, whereby a chemical reaction occurs a the carbon interface, changing the state of the adsorbate {dechlorination is an example of a chemisorptions process}

1.2 Forms of Activated Carbon

There are three main forms of activated carbon and these include:

A. Granular Activated Carbon:

This is irregular in shape with respect to its particles. The particles sizes ranges from 0.2 to 5mm. It is used in both liquid and gas phase applications.

B. Powder Activated Carbon:

This is a pulverized carbon with a size predominantly less than 0.18mm. these are mainly used in liquid phased applications and for flue gas treatment.

C. Pelleted Activated Carbon:

It is extruded and cylindrical shaped with diameters from 0.8 to 3mm. These are mainly used for gas phase application because of their low pressure drop, high mechanical strength and low dust content.

1.2 Kinds of Activated Carbon

There are end kinds of activated carbon

1. Low Density Activated Carbon:

This is used for ligind phase adsorption

2. High Density Activated Carbon:

This is used for gas phase adsorption

1.3 Activated Carbon Properties

The following are the properties possessed by activated carbons irrespective of the base material from which they are made.

1. 10 Dine Number / Value:

This is the fundamental property used to characterize activated carbon performance. It measures the activity level, higher number indicates higher degree of activation.

2. Methylene Blue:

this is a measure of mesopore structure of activated carbon. It is between 20-500A.

3. Caramel DP {Molasses Value}:

This is the measure of macro pore structure, it is less than 500A. it is important for decolorizing performance of activated carbon.

4. Surface Area:

This is use to measure the adsorption capacity. Pore size distribution or pore volume is also important to determine ultimate performance.

5. Apparent Density:

Activated carbon with higher density possesses greater volume activity and this normally indicates better quality activated carbon.

6. Particle Size:

Smaller particle size provides quicker rate of adsorption which reduces the amount of contact time required. Smaller particle size brings about greater pressure drop.

7. Hardness / Abrasion Number:

It is a measure of activated carbons resistance to attrition, and important indicator of activated carbon to maintain its physic integrity and with stand frictional forces imposed by mashing etc

8. Dechlorination Half-Value Length:

This is a test to measure the dechlorination efficiency of activated carbon. The depth of activated carbon to reduce influent chlorine level from 5ppm to 2.5ppm lower half-value length indicates superior performance

9. Ash Content:

This reduces overall activity of activated carbon and efficiency of reactivation. Metals {Fe203} can leach out of activated carbon resulting in discoloration. Acid/mater solvable ash content is more significant then total ash content.

1.5 Adsorption Parameters of Activated Carbon

The adsorption parameters of activated carbon show the trend and degree of adsorption of activated carbon and they are:

1. Capacity Versus Kinetic Rate:

Capacity parameters determine loading characteristics of activated carbon. Maximum adsorption capacity of activated carbon is only achieved at equilibrium. Kinetic parameters only determine the rate of adsorption and have reliable effect on adsorption capacity.

2. Surface Area:

Adsorption capacity is proportional to surface area and it is determined by degree of activation

3. Pore Size:

Correct fore size distribution is necessary to facilitate the adsorption process by providing adsorption site and the appropriate channels to transport adsorbate

4. Particle Size:

Smaller particle size provide quicker rate of adsorption. Note that total surface area is determined by degree of activation and pore structure and not particle size

5. Temperature:

Lower temarature increases adsorptro capacity except in the case of viscous liquids

6. Concentration Of Adsorbate:

Adsorption capacity is proportional to concentration of adsorbate

7. PH:

Adsorption capacity increases under PH conditions, which decreases the solubility of the adsorbate.

8. Contact Time:

Sufficient content time is required to reach adsorption equilibrium and to maximize adsorption efficiency

1.6 Applications of Activated Carbon

Activated carbon is mainly used as an agent for refining, decolorizing, purifying or filtering substances in varied industries.

It is used in air deodoration and separation of permanent and rare gases from air sulphur removal from sythesis gases, removal of foreign odor from in carbondioxide from dry ice or carbonated beverages, gelatin in cold storage and refrigerators. It is also used in deodorizing vegetasusores, purification of various organic liquids, mater purification and recovery of gold and silver from ones.

1.7 Definition of Terms


This is a natural or synthetic material of microcrysetatheine structure in loose internal surface is accessible for selective combination of solid and solute


It is the process by which liquid or gaseous molecules are concentrated on a solid surface, in this case activated carbon . It is a surface phenomenon.


It is the ability of activated carbon [adsorbent] to adsorb certain component more strongly than other Adsorbent.


This is the solute liquid or gaseous molecules that is concentrated on the solid of the solid adsorbent

Chapter Five

Discussion, Recommendation and Conclusion

5.1 Discussion

The result of the adsorption process shows that crude palm oil bleached with coconut shell activated carbon bleached better than the one carried out using coal activated carbon thereby making coconut shell a better adsorbent than coal activated carbon. From the result also, it is observed that the higher the heating temperature the better the bleaching. The particle size of the activated carbon has great effect in the activated carbon has great effect in the bleaching of the palm oil as it is observed that the adsorptive ability of the activated carbon increases as the particle size decreases.

The iodine value of oil bleach with coal activated carbon is higher than of the oil bleached with coconut shell activated carbon. From the chemical analysis, the result shows that the acid value, saponification value and peroxide value of the oil bleached with coconut shell activated carbon are low than in the oil bleached with coal activated carbon.

5.2 Recommendation

The problems encountered during the experiment introduce some inaccuracies in the results. The fume cupboard in which the carbonization and activation is not in good order and this led to the use of phosphoric acid for the activation rather than sulfuric acid that give better activation. The steam heating of the activated coal was not properly carried out because the equipment is faulty.

The size reduction of the activated carbon was done manually, there fore, it is recommended that these problems be propely handled if any other analysis is to be carried out.

More work should be devoted to the research of optimum conditions for activation process for its economic importance and for the enhancement of the adsorptive properties of the activated carbon.

A research work should be thoroughly done on other analysis of coal and coconut activated carbon.

5.3 Conclusion

The comparative analysis of coal and coconut activated carbon can be done in several mays one of which is the analysis of the oil bleached with the two activated carbons. The results of which can be used for the comparison.

Thus, the following conclusion can be made for the method adopted for the comparative analysis. The objective of the project was achieved for the fact that the comparison was done from the result obtained. The chemical characterization of the oil bleached with the activated carbons was ascertained. And some physical properties of the coal and coconut shell activated carbon were determined and compared.

Coconut activated carbon is a better adsorbent than coal activated carbon.

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