Production of Activated Carbon from Cow Manure for Wastewater Treatment

Haichao Li, Shuaishuai Yang, Huizhen Sun, Xiaohui Liu


This study presents the chemical compositional analysis of cow manure in terms of holocellulose (35.97%), lignin (19.02%), and ash (17.47%). Activated carbons (of specific surface area 114 to 893 m2/g, iodine value 219 to 718 mg/g, methylene blue adsorption value 40.5 to 501 mg/g, and ash 16.17% to 22.3%) were prepared from cow manure by using various activator compounds such as potassium carbonate. The results showed that the activation effect of potassium carbonate and zinc chloride was better under the given conditions. The main ash found in the activated carbons was silica, which was reduced to about 3% by washing with sodium hydroxide solution. The prepared activated carbons were used to treat the wastewater from the cow farm and for the pollutant removal that effectively met the discharge standard requirements. These results indicated that the production of activated carbons from cow manure is a promising method for the cleaner production in intensive dairy farms.


Cow manure; Bioresource; Activated carbon; Cleaner production; Wastewater

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