Experiments on the generation of activated carbon from biomass

Elisabeth Schröder, Klaus Thomauske, Christine Weber, Andreas Hornung, Vander Tumiatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Activated carbon is generated from various waste biomass sources like rice straw, wheat straw, wheat straw pellets, olive stones, pistachios shells, walnut shells, beech wood and hardcoal. After drying the biomass is pyrolysed in the temperature range of 500-600 °C at low heating rates of 10 K/min. The activation of the chars is performed as steam activation at temperatures between 800 °C and 900 °C. Both the pyrolysis and activation experiments were run in lab-scale facilities. It is shown that nut shells provide high active surfaces of 1000-1300 m/g whereas the active surface of straw matters does hardly exceed 800 m/g which might be a result of the high ash content of the straws and the slightly higher carbon content of the nut shells. The active surface is detected by BET method. Besides the testing of a many types of biomass for the suitability as base material in the activated carbon production process, the experiments allow for the determination of production parameters like heating rate and pyrolysis temperature, activation time and temperature as well as steam flux which are necessary for the scale up of the process chain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007
Event17th International Symposium on Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, Hungary, 22-26 May 2006 - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 22 May 200626 May 2006


  • activated carbon
  • olive stones
  • pistachio shells
  • pyrolysis
  • rice straw
  • walnut shells
  • wheat straw.


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