Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research (ISSN : 0975-7384)

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Original Articles: 2013 Vol: 5 Issue: 5

Physicochemical characteristics of activated charcoal derived from melon seed husk


This work investigated the generation of activated carbon from melon seed husk - a low value agricultural waste, its characterization using volumetric methods and subsequent utility in the bleaching of vegetable oil. The production of activated carbon from melon seed husk was done by a chemical activating process involving the use of 1 M NaOH solution mixed with 20 g of the sample and steeped overnight. The steeped waste was filtered and air-dried and then carbonized in a muffle furnace at the temperature of 500oC for a residence time of 40 minutes to give an activated carbon. The resultant activated carbon in powder form was characterized for the particle size, pH, bulk density, iodine adsorption number, pore volume, porosity and moisture content. The activated carbon was equally applied for the bleaching of de-gummed sample of vegetable oil. The result of the characterization showed that the powdered activated carbon has good properties and compared favourably with other reference activated carbons. While the bleaching experiment result showed that the activated carbon successfully bleached the colour of the degummed vegetable oil, and that the extent of oil bleaching was related to the quantity of activated carbon used. This research work has added to proof that powder activated carbon produced from melon seed husk has great adsorptive capacity and can be used for both liquid and gaseous phase adsorption.