Enhanced benzene vapor adsorption through microwave-assisted fabrication of activated carbon from peanut shells using ZnCl2 as an activating agent

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Kutluay S., Şahin Ö., Baytar O.

Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-024-32973-z
  • Journal Name: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Benzene adsorption, Experimental design, Isotherms, Kinetics, Microwave-assisted activated carbon
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Herein, microwave-assisted activated carbon (MW-AC) was fabricated from peanut shells using a ZnCl2 activator and utilized for the first time to eliminate benzene vapor as a volatile organic compound (VOC). During the MW-AC production process, which involved two steps—microwave treatment and muffle furnace heating—we investigated the effects of various factors and achieved the highest iodine number of 1250 mg/g. This was achieved under optimal operating conditions, which included a 100% impregnation ratio, CO2 as the gas in the microwave environment, a microwave power set at 500 W, a microwave duration of 10 min, an activation temperature of 500 °C and an activation time of 45 min. The structural and morphological properties of the optimized MW-AC were assessed through SEM, FTIR, and BET analysis. The dynamic adsorption process of benzene on the optimized MW-AC adsorbent, which has a significant BET surface area of 1204.90 m2/g, was designed using the Box-Behnken approach within the response surface methodology. Under optimal experimental conditions, including a contact duration of 80 min, an inlet concentration of 18 ppm, and a temperature of 26 °C, the maximum adsorption capacity reached was 568.34 mg/g. The experimental data are better described by the pseudo-second-order kinetic model, while it is concluded that the equilibrium data are better described by the Langmuir isotherm model. MW-AC exhibited a reuse efficiency of 86.54% for benzene vapor after five consecutive recycling processes. The motivation of the study highlights the high adsorption capacity and superior reuse efficiency of MW-AC adsorbent with high BET surface area against benzene pollutant. According to our results, the developed MW-AC presents itself as a promising adsorbent candidate for the treatment of VOCs in various industrial applications.