Comparing Coconut Shell-Based and Coal-Based Activated Carbons - Sponsored Whitepaper

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Comparing Coconut Shell-Based and Coal-Based Activated Carbons

Why are coconut shells used to produce activated carbon? Due to their high carbon content and hardness, coconut shells are an excellent raw material source to produce activated carbon. Activated carbons that are produced using coconut shells as the raw material are often sourced in geographic regions where coconuts are harvested, including India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.

How is coconut shell-based activated carbon produced? Raw material coconut shells are first charred at the coconut grower or at a centralized facility designed to produce char. Activated carbon manufacturers then purchase the char and activate it at elevated temperatures and using steam in a kiln or furnace, similar to the process for coal- based activated carbons. The final product is screened to a variety of mesh sizes for both vapor phase and liquid phase applications.

How do the characteristics of coconut shell-based carbons compare to those for coal- based carbons? Activated carbons produced from coconut shells typically have a tighter, more microporous pore structure than their coal-based counterparts. This is due to the inherent pore structure of the raw material coconut shell as compared to raw material coals. This microporosity lends itself towards certain applications where activated carbon is used.

Also, coconut shell-based carbons tend to be harder, more resistant to abrasion, and lower in ash than similar grades of coal-based carbons. A quick comparison of standard specification measures on coconut shell carbons versus coal carbons is as follows:
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