Utilization of agricultural waste in the production of valuable products can promote the national efforts in minimizing serious public health risks from exposure to dangerous fumes that result from burning in open fields at the end of every harvest season. An agricultural waste, namely cotton stalks, was chosen for developing a cost effective process for the production of activated carbon using bench equipment at laboratory scale, and typical industrial equipment at pilot scale. Findings show that the pilot scale production trial was successful in terms of equipments chosen and quality of activated carbon produced. Physical and pore analysis showed that the produced carbon is comparable to commercial carbons with respect to surface area, pore volume, particle density, buk density, and in possessing a high percentage of micropores that exceeds 90% of the total surface area. Absorption studies conducted in completely mixed batch system demonstrated the ability of produced carbon to absorb lead, an important pollutant, from water in a pH range below that of precipitation and at a high percentage of removal after an equilibrium time of 72 hours. Continuous flow columns studies confirmed the affinity of carbon for lead, revealed by the number of break through bed volumes which were considerably higher than commercial carbons for the same lead solution concentrate, empty bed contact time, and hydraulic loading rate.


Interdisciplinary Engineering Program

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering

Date of Award

Fall 4-26-2006

Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Edward Smith

Committee Member 1

Badie Salama Girgis

Committee Member 2

Emad Imam

Document Type



125 leaves :

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Agricultural wastes

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Cotton stalks

Library of Congress Subject Heading 3

activated carbon


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Not necessary for this item

Call Number

Thesis 2006/4