Characterization of Acid Impregnated Activated Carbon Developed from Tannery Sludge


  • Geethakarthi Alagarsamy Kumaraguru College of Technology



Activated carbon; Microporous carbon; Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM); Surface area; Tannery sludge


The sludge discharged from the preliminary treatment of a tannery effluent plant is considered for the development of activated carbon. The carbon is developed by impregnating the precursor in an acid activating agent (H2SO4). The activation of the preliminary sludge is carried under different operating conditions such as varying temperature (600–800oC) and acid impregnation ratios (1 and 2) for two different particle sizes such as 600 µm and 300 µm. A carbon content of 74% was obtained from the sludge activated at a temperature of 650oC for 3 hrs with particle size 300 µm (3S-52). The characterization of developed tannery sludge carbon 3S-52 was carried out using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) isotherm plots to analyze the surface morphology and pore size distribution, pore volume and pore diameter. The nitrogen physisorption for surface analysis and pore size distribution was also done at −196oC (77K). The pore volume, pore size and the surface area of 3S-52 were determined as 0.133cm3/g, 5.15 Ao and 212.32 m2/g respectively. These results demonstrated feasibility to treat the tannery sludge as a precursor to produce microporous activated carbons