Results in Chemistry

Volume 4, January 2022, 100291

Fabrication and characterization of coconut shell activated carbon using variation chemical activation for wastewater treatment application rights and content
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The presence of –OH, CO, and C-O functional groups indicates the activated carbon.

The NaOH activator obtained the highest value of surface area 516 m2g−1.

The morphology shows a similar pore structure for different pore distributions.

After filtering the polluted water using the activated carbon meets the standard requirements for drinking water.

Those results confirm the activated carbon-based coconut shells as water purification treatment applications.


Activated carbon based on coconut shell has been successfully synthesized using three different chemical activators. The coconut shell was obtained from the highland with the freshwater environment and dried by solar thermal. The sample was carbonized at 600⁰C for 3 h and thoroughly activated using three chemical activating agents: NaOH, H3PO4, and ZnCl2. All samples were then characterized using X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR), Surface Area Analysis (SAA), and Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive X-Ray (SEM-EDX) to identify their crystal structure, functional group, surface area, and morphology. The XRD result illustrates amorphous phase has been formed with carbon graphite as the highest content while hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), potassium (K), sodium (Na), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) as the impurities. The FTIR characterization results show no significant change from the three kinds of activators. The presence of –OH, CO, and C-O functional groups indicates that the activated carbon has been successfully conducted. The SAA characterization gives the highest surface area value (516 m2g−1) obtained by the NaOH activator. The results of morphology identification show a similar pore structure for each sample with less impurity content for different pore distribution confirmed by EDX results. Additionally, the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) measurement shows the activated carbon with an activating agent of NaOH after filtering the polluted water meets the standard requirements for drinking water. All of those results confirm that the activated carbon-based coconut shells can potentially be applied for water purification treatment.


Coconut shell
Activated carbon
Chemical activation
Surface area
Purification treatment

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