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Three-dimensional hierarchical porous carbon structure derived from pinecone as a potential catalyst support in catalytic remediation of antibiotics

Latest updated: May 27, 2020

DOI: 10.1039/C9RA10638C

Authors: S. O. Sanni, E. L. Viljoen and A. E. Ofomaja




In this study, pinecone was converted via two stage pyrolysis to produce low cost activated carbon. Furnace pyrolysis was used in the first step to convert pinecone to carbonized material, followed by microwave pyrolysis of the carbonized material activated with KOH to obtain activated carbon (ACK) materials as a suitable catalyst support. The ACK samples were characterized by their morphology, structural, adsorption and electrochemical properties. The optimized ACK 2.24-16 prepared from the pinecone had a complex three-dimensional (3D)-hierarchical porous structure, with an abundance of micropores and mesopores compared to other ACK samples judging from the high iodine number (1900 mg g−1) and the methylene blue number (4000 mg g−1) capacity. The optimized ACK 2.24-16 had the highest current response and least charge transfer resistance, along with moderate surface area (427 m2 g−1) as a promising photocatalyst support. The 3D hierarchical porous ACK significantly assisted catalyst dispersion, and enhanced visible light absorption and fast interfacial charge transfer. This work shows the promising aspect of utilizing pinecone to produce a low-cost photocatalyst support for environmental remediation.



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