Preparation of mesoporous activated carbon from palm-date pits: optimization study on removal of bentazon, carbofuran, and 2,4-D using response surface methodology
Palm-date pits were used to prepare activated carbon by physiochemical activation method, which consisted of potassium hydroxide (KOH) treatment and carbon dioxide (CO2) gasification. The effects of variable parameters, activation temperature, activation time and chemical impregnation ratios (KOH: char by weight) on the preparation of activated carbon and for removal of pesticides: bentazon, carbofuran and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) were investigated. Based on the central composite design (CCD), two factor interaction (2FI) and quadratic models were respectively employed to correlate the effect of variable parameters on the preparation of activated carbon used for removal of pesticides with carbon yield. From the analysis of variance (ANOVA), the most influential factor on each experimental design response was identified. The optimum conditions for preparing activated carbon from palm-date pits were found to be: activation temperature of 850 °C, activation time of 3 h and chemical impregnation ratio of 3.75, which resulted in an activated carbon yield of 19.5% and bentazon, carbofuran, and 2,4-D removal of 84, 83, and 93%, respectively.