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Orthogonal design-guided preparation of multi-level porous-activated carbon by pyrolysis of waste polyester textiles

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Multi-level porous amorphous-activated carbon with excellent adsorption performance was prepared by a ZnCl2-assisted pyrolysis of waste polyester textiles. Experimental parameters were optimized by using orthogonal design. Result of orthogonal design revealed that pyrolysis temperature and pyrolysis time were the dominant individual factors. Samples prepared at the optimal condition were systematically characterized by Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) porosity analyzer, FT-IR spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and transmission electron microscope (TEM). Iodine (I2), methylene blue (MB) and phenol (PhOH) were selected as target dyes to measure the adsorption performance. Experimental results showed that porous-activated carbon with multi-level pores could be obtained by optimizing experimental parameters. The specific surface area and total pore volume were calculated to be 846.37 m2 g−1 and 0.726 cm3 g−1, respectively. Benefit from its multi-level rich porosity, the optimized sample possessed attractive adsorption performance toward different types of dyes. The corresponding adsorption capacity toward I2, MB, and PhOH were calculated to be 980.48, 384.00, and 300.62 mg g−1, respectively.

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The study was financially supported by the Scientific Research Fund of Taiyuan University of Technology (Project No.20504020203) and Research Initiation Funds for the returned Chinese scholars (Project No.2017048).

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Correspondence to Shuhua Wang.

Additional information


In this work, multi-level porous-activated carbon with high adsorption performance to various types of dyes was prepared via an orthogonal design-guided pyrolysis of waste polyester textiles.

(1) The introduction of orthogonal design could effectively improve the efficiency in experimental parameters optimization.

(2) Abundant pores in multiple levels endow the as-prepared-activated carbon attractive adsorption performance to different types of dyes.

(3) The use of waste polyester textiles as raw material could not only alleviate its negative impact on environment but also make full use of waste resource.

Responsible editor: Tito Roberto Cadaval Jr

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Yu, X., Wang, S., Gao, Y. et al. Orthogonal design-guided preparation of multi-level porous-activated carbon by pyrolysis of waste polyester textiles. Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 30567–30574 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-3002-2

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  • Orthogonal design
  • Waste polyester textiles
  • Activated carbon
  • Adsorption