H. Kasaini


3 Development of Better Quality Low-Cost Activated Carbon from South African Pine Tree (Pinus patula) Sawdust: Characterization and Comparative Phenol Adsorption

Authors: L. Mukosha, M. S. Onyango, A. Ochieng, H. Kasaini


The remediation of water resources pollution in developing countries requires the application of alternative sustainable cheaper and efficient end-of-pipe wastewater treatment technologies. The feasibility of use of South African cheap and abundant pine tree (Pinus patula) sawdust for development of lowcost AC of comparable quality to expensive commercial ACs in the abatement of water pollution was investigated. AC was developed at optimized two-stage N2-superheated steam activation conditions in a fixed bed reactor, and characterized for proximate and ultimate properties, N2-BET surface area, pore size distribution, SEM, pHPZC and FTIR. The sawdust pyrolysis activation energy was evaluated by TGA. Results indicated that the chars prepared at 800oC and 2hrs were suitable for development of better quality AC at 800oC and 47% burn-off having BET surface area (1086m2/g), micropore volume (0.26cm3/g), and mesopore volume (0.43cm3/g) comparable to expensive commercial ACs, and suitable for water contaminants removal. The developed AC showed basic surface functionality at pHPZC at 10.3, and a phenol adsorption capacity that was higher than that of commercial Norit (RO 0.8) AC. Thus, it is feasible to develop better quality low-cost AC from (Pinus patula) sawdust using twostage N2-steam activation in fixed-bed reactor.

Keywords: activated carbon, phenol adsorption, sawdust integrated utilization, economical wastewater treatment

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2 Computational Studies of Binding Energies and Structures of Methylamine on Functionalized Activated Carbon Surfaces

Authors: R. C. J. Mphahlele, K. Bolton, H. Kasaini


Empirical force fields and density functional theory (DFT) was used to study the binding energies and structures of methylamine on the surface of activated carbons (ACs). This is a first step in studying the adsorption of alkyl amines on the surface of functionalized ACs. The force fields used were Dreiding (DFF), Universal (UFF) and Compass (CFF) models. The generalized gradient approximation with Perdew Wang 91 (PW91) functional was used for DFT calculations. In addition to obtaining the aminecarboxylic acid adsorption energies, the results were used to establish reliability of the empirical models for these systems. CFF predicted a binding energy of -9.227 (kcal/mol) which agreed with PW91 at - 13.17 (kcal/mol), compared to DFF 0 (kcal/mol) and UFF -0.72 (kcal/mol). However, the CFF binding energies for the amine to ester and ketone disagreed with PW91 results. The structures obtained from all models agreed with PW91 results.

Keywords: dft, Binding Energy, activated carbons, Force fields

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1 Sulphur-Mediated Precipitation of Pt/Fe/Co/CrIons in Liquid-Liquid and Gas-Liquid Chloride Systems

Authors: J. Siame, H. Kasaini


The proof of concept experiments were conducted to determine the feasibility of using small amounts of Dissolved Sulphur (DS) from the gaseous phase to precipitate platinum ions in chloride media. Two sets of precipitation experiments were performed in which the source of sulphur atoms was either a thiosulphate solution (Na2S2O3) or a sulphur dioxide gas (SO2). In liquid-liquid (L-L) system, complete precipitation of Pt was achieved at small dosages of Na2S2O3 (0.01 – 1.0 M) in a time interval of 3-5 minutes. On the basis of this result, gas absorption tests were carried out mainly to achieve sulphur solubility equivalent to 0.018 M. The idea that huge amounts of precious metals could be recovered selectively from their dilute solutions by utilizing the waste SO2 streams at low pressure seemed attractive from the economic and environmental point of views. Therefore, mass transfer characteristics of SO2 gas associated with reactive absorption across the gas-liquid (G-L) interface were evaluated under different conditions of pressure (0.5 – 2 bar), solution temperature ranges from 20 – 50 oC and acid strength (1 – 4 M, HCl). This paper concludes with information about selective precipitation of Pt in the presence of cations (Fe2+, Co2+, and Cr3+) in a CSTR and recommendation to scale up laboratory data to industrial pilot scale operations.

Keywords: Platinum, CSTR, diffusivity, sulphur dioxide, selective precipitation, thiosulphate

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