This work is focused on the production of activated carbon from waste tires by means of a two-steps process: steam gasification of starting material followed by steam activation of char. In particular the evaluation of the most appropriate hold time value for the activation step, in terms of quality and amount of activated carbons produced, and the energy balance of the overall process were performed. The hold time was choose as the best compromise between a high surface area of final product and a not excessively low burn-off value. Investigations were carried out through seven experimental tests on a pilot plant based on a rotary kiln reactor. Studies performed pointed out that, when other process parameters were kept constant (in steam gasification: temperature is 850 °C, steam to feed ratio is 1, mean residence time of material is 6 min, carrier flowrate of N2is 0.9 Nm3h−1; in steam activation: temperature is 920 °C, steam to char ratio is 2, carrier flowrate of N2is 1 Nm3h−1), a hold time in activation step set to 3 h is the best choice, resulting in a surface area of 786 m2·g−1and a burn-off value equal to 78.4%. Moreover, the energy balance of the overall process which goes from waste tires to activated carbon was performed: if 1 kg·h−1of waste tires are gasified and activated for three hours, an input power of 3.5 kW is requested. After the experimental tests, a theoretical model was developed, based on the Arrhenius equation whose parameters were determined from a sigmoidal regression of the experimental data. The theoretical model showed results in good agreement with the experimental data, especially for hold times greater than 2 h, and can represent a useful tool to make decision choices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Economics and Econometrics