Preparation and Characterization of Activated Carbon from Hydrochar by Phosphoric Acid Activation and its Adsorption Performance in Prehydrolysis Liquor

Jiachuan Chen, Lei Zhang, Guihua Yang, Qiang Wang, Rui Li, Lucian A. Lucia


Hydrochar was used to produce activated carbon with high BET surface area and large pore volume via phosphoric acid activation. The hydrochar described here can be obtained from hydrothermal carbonization of corn cob residue (CCR). Porous structure of activated carbons was characterized by nitrogen adsorption and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results showed that the specific surface area and total pore volume of activated carbon were increased to 2192 m2/g and 1.269 cm3/g, respectively, under conditions of 400 °C, 1 h, and an impregnation ratio of 3, from 5.69 m2/g and 0.136 cm3/g of the starting material. The chemical properties of hydrochar and activated carbons were further characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), which confirmed the chemical transformation. Furthermore, the localized graphitic nature of the porous carbon was shown by the X-ray diffraction pattern. Thus, the adsorption capacity was enhanced for activated carbon in comparison with commercial carbon. The process of activated carbon preparation provided a high value-added application of hydrochar.


Hydrochar; Activated carbons; Specific surface area; Pore volume

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022,; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, URLs:; ISSN: 1930-2126