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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Fan, M.
item Marshall, Wayne
item Daugaard, D.
item Brown, R.

Submitted to: Bioresource Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2003
Publication Date: 2/5/2004
Citation: Fan, M., Marshall, W.E., Daugaard, D., Brown, R.C. 2004. Steam activation of chars produced from oat hulls and corn stover. Bioresource Technology. 93:103-107.

Interpretive Summary: Oat hulls and corn stover (corn stalks, leaves, cobs) are low-value, high volume agricultural by-products that can be burned in the absence of air (pyrolyzed) and used for energy production and other high-value chemical co-products. One of the chemical co-products is a char (pyrolysis product) that can be used for production of activated carbon. In this study, activated carbons were produced from oat hull and corn stover chars. Oat hull chars were observed to give higher carbon yields and higher surface areas (better adsorption potential) than corn stover chars. This study suggest that oat hull chars may be a good source of activated carbon and a high value use for the oat hull char is possible.

Technical Abstract: Oat hulls and corn stover were used to produce chars at approximately 500°C. The carbon concentrations of oat hull char and corn stover char produced were 72.3 and 68.0 wt.%, respectively. Both activation burn-off and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area appear to exhibit a linear relationship with respect to activation time of oat hulls. As to corn stover activated carbons, there is no linear relationship between activation time and BET surface area. However, activation burn-off and activation time appear to relate in a linear manner for the activated carbons produced from corn stover chars. Oat hull is better than corn stover as a raw material for the production of activated carbon.

Last Modified: 05/22/2017
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