Submitted to: Bioresource Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2003
Publication Date: 2/5/2004
Citation: Bansode, R.R., Losso, J.N., Marshall, W.E., Rao, R.M., Portier, R.J. 2003. Pecan shell-based granular activated carbon for treatment of chemical oxygen demand (cod) in municipal wastewater. Bioresource Technology. 94:129-135.
Interpretive Summary: Treatment of municipal wastewater in towns and cities across the United States consumes the largest share of commercial activated carbon compared to other carbon uses. Because of this, there is a need in wastewater treatment plants to find economically affordable alternatives to activated carbon made from coal that is becoming more expensive with each passing year. Scientists at the USDA-ARS, Southern Regional Research Center in cooperation with scientists in the Department of Food Science at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA have determined that activated carbon made with pecan shells is more effective in removing a component of municipal wastewater called chemical oxygen demand or COD than a commercial coal-based carbon. These results point to the possibility of substituting carbons made from pecan shells, a cheaper raw material than coal, for use in municipal wastewater treatment.
Technical Abstract: The present investigation was undertaken to compare the adsorption efficiency of pecan shell-based granular activated carbon with the adsorption efficiency of the commercial carbon Filtrasorb 200 with respect to uptake of the organic components responsible for the chemical oxygen demand (COD) of municipal wastewater. Adsorption efficiencies for these two sets of carbons (experimental and commercial) were analyzed by the Freundlich adsorption model. The results indicate that steam-activated and acid-activated pecan shell-based carbons had higher adsorption for organic matter measured as COD, than carbon dioxide-activated pecan shell-based carbon or Filtrasorb 200 at all the carbon dosages used during the experiment. The higher adsorption may be related to surface area as the two carbons with the highest surface area also had the highest organic matter adsorption. These results show that granular activated carbons made from agricultural waste (pecan shells) can be used with greater effectiveness for organic matter removal from municipal wastewater than a coal-based commercial carbon.