International Journal of
Physical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Phys. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-1950
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPS
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2533

Full Length Research Paper

Production and evaluation of activated carbon from palm kernel shells (PKS) for economic and environmental sustainability

Okoroigwe, E. C., Ofomatah, A. C.*, Oparaku, N. F. and Unachukwu, G. O.
National Centre for Energy Research and Development, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Enugu State. Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 April 2013
  •  Published: 23 May 2013


Activated carbon (AC) was produced from palm kernel shells (PKS) by acid activation method at temperature of 600°C. The effects of carbonization and acid impregnation time on the adsorption potential of the ACs on purification of contaminated rain and flowing river water bodies were examined. The results were compared with results of similar analysis based on commercial AC purchased from a nearby chemical shop. The results show that the AC produced from PKS upon 2 days acid impregnation followed by 3 h carbonization periods, purified both water bodies better than the others on reduction of microbial and micro impurity contents of the water bodies. The implications of the results show that production of AC from PKS is value addition to oil palm processing, boost to the national economy and positive environmental impact to the people that produce and use PKS. Hence, multiple-product derivations, such as bioenergy and bio-char production for adsorption purposes from palm kernel shells, are encouraged in process industries as against the sole traditional combustion for heat production.


Key words: Adsorption, palm kernel shell, carbonization, acid impregnation, activated carbon, purification.