Pilot Scale Production of Activated Carbon Spheres Using Fluidized Bed Reactor and Its Evaluation for the Removal of Hexavalent Chromium from Aqueous Solutions

Original Contribution


Large scale production of activated carbon is need of ongoing research due to its excellent adsorption capacity for removal of heavy metals from contaminated solutions. In the present study, polymeric precursor polystyrene beads [Brunauer Emmett Teller (BET) surface area, 46 m2/g; carbon content, 40.64%; crushing strength, 0.32 kg/sphere] were used to produce a new variant of activated carbon, Activated Carbon Spheres (ACS) in a pilot scale fluidized bed reactor. ACS were prepared by carbonization of polymeric precursor at 850 °C followed by activation of resultant material with steam. Prepared ACS were characterized using scanning electron microscope, CHNS analyzer, thermogravimetric analyzer, surface area analyzer and crushing strength tester. The produced ACS have 1009 m2/g BET surface area, 0.89 cm3/g total pore volume, 92.32% carbon content and 1.1 kg/sphere crushing strength with less than 1% of moisture and ash content. The ACS were also evaluated for its potential to remove hexavalent chromium [Cr(VI)] from contaminated solutions. The chromium removal is observed to be 99.1% at initial concentration 50 mg/l, pH 2, ACS dose 1 g/l, contact time 2 h, agitation 120 rpm and temperature 30 °C. Thus ACS can be used as an adsorbent material for the removal of Cr(VI) from contaminated solutions.


Activated carbon Adsorption Fluidized bed reactor Optimization Hexavalent chromium 



The authors are thankful to Director, Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior for his keen interest, constant support and providing necessary facilities for this study.


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Copyright information

© The Institution of Engineers (India) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Process Technology Development DivisionDefence Research and Development EstablishmentGwaliorIndia

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