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Joseph Jjagwe, Peter Wilberforce Olupot, Emmanuel Menya, Herbert Mpagi Kalibbala. Synthesis and application of Granular activated carbon from biomass waste materials for water treatment: A review[J]. Journal of Bioresources and Bioproducts. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2021.03.003
Citation: Joseph Jjagwe, Peter Wilberforce Olupot, Emmanuel Menya, Herbert Mpagi Kalibbala. Synthesis and application of Granular activated carbon from biomass waste materials for water treatment: A review[J]. Journal of Bioresources and Bioproducts. doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2021.03.003

Synthesis and application of Granular activated carbon from biomass waste materials for water treatment: A review

doi: 10.1016/j.jobab.2021.03.003
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  • Corresponding author: Corresponding author. Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062, Kampala-Uganda
    Email address: polupot@cedat.mak.ac.ug (Peter Wilberforce Olupot)
  • Received Date: 2020-12-29
  • Accepted Date: 2021-02-22
  • Rev Recd Date: 2021-02-15
  • Available Online: 2021-03-19
  • There is an increased global demand for activated carbon (AC) in application of water treatment and purification. Water pollutants that have exhibited a greater removal efficiency by AC included but not limited to heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, natural organic matter, disinfection by-products, and microplastics. Granular activated carbon (GAC) is mostly used in aqueous solutions and adsorption columns for water treatment. Commercial AC is not only costly, but also obtained from non-renewable sources. This has prompted the search for alternative renewable materials for AC production. Biomass wastes present a great potential of such materials because of their availability and carbonaceous nature. This in turn can reduce on the adverse environmental effects caused by poor disposal of these wastes. The challenges associated with biomass waste based GAC are their low strength and attrition resistance which make them easily disintegrate under aqueous phase. This paper provides a comprehensive review on recent advances in production of biomass waste based GAC for water treatment and highlights future research directions. Production parameters such as granulation conditions, use of binders, carbonization, activation methods, and their effect on textural properties are discussed. Factors influencing the adsorption capacities of the derived GACs, adsorption models, adsorption mechanisms, and their regeneration potentials are reviewed. The literature reveals that biomass waste materials can produce GAC for use in water treatment with possibilities of being regenerated. Nonetheless, there is a need to explore 1) the effect of preparation pathways on the adsorptive properties of biomass derived GAC, 2) sustainable production of biomass derived GAC based on life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis, and 3) adsorption mechanisms of GAC for removal of contaminants of emerging concerns such as microplastics and unregulated disinfection by-products.


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