Micro-milling super-fine powdered activated carbon decreases adsorption capacity by introducing oxygen/hydrogen-containing functional groups on carbon surface from water
Superfine powdered activated carbon (SPAC) activated charcoal powderof micron to submicron particle size is produced by micro-milling of conventionally sized powdered activated carbon. SPAC has attracted attention because of its high adsorption capacity; however, milling to the submicron particle size range lowers its adsorption capacity. Here, we found that this decrease of adsorption capacity was due to the introduction of oxygen/hydrogen-containing functional groups into the graphene structure of the carbon from water during the milling, causing it to become less hydrophobic. This finding was supported by three analyses of SPAC particles before and after milling: 1) elemental analysis revealed increased oxygen and hydrogen content, 2) Boehm titration analysis revealed increased amounts of acidic functional groups, including carboxylic and phenolic hydroxyl groups, and 3) Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy showed increased peaks at 1200, 1580, and 3400 cm−1, confirming the presence of those groups. Dissolved oxygen concentration did not strongly affect the increase of oxygen content in SPAC, and no evidence was found for hydroxyl radical production during micro-milling, suggesting that a mechanochemical reaction underlies the increase in oxygen/hydrogen-containing functional groups. activated carbon manufacturers uaeAn increase in 18O content in the SPAC particles after milling in water-18O indicated that the oxygen in the functional groups originated from the surrounding water.