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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2005 Jan 15;281(2):437-43.

Preparation and characterization of high-specific-surface-area activated carbons from K2CO3-treated waste polyurethane.

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  • 1Department of Chemical Engineering, Kansai University, Suita, Osaka 564-8680, Japan.


An activated carbon with high specific surface area was prepared from polyurethane foam by chemical activation with K2CO3 and the influences of carbonization temperature and impregnation ratio on the pore structure of the prepared activated carbon were investigated. It was found that the specific surface area of the activated carbon was at a maximum value (about 2800 m(2)/g) at a carbonization temperature of 1073 K and at an impregnation ratio of 1.0. It was concluded that the polyurethane foam structure was modified during impregnation by K2CO3, K2CO3 promoted charring during carbonization, and then the weight loss behavior was changed below 700 and above 1000 K, carbon in the char was consumed by K2CO3 reduction, and this led to the high specific surface area. The prepared activated carbon had a very sharp micropore size distribution, compared with the commercial activated carbon having high specific surface area. The amounts of three organic vapors (benzene, acetone, and octane) adsorbed on the prepared activated carbons was much larger than those on the traditional coconut shell AC and the same as those on the commercial activated carbon except for octane. We surmised that the high specific surface area was due to the modification of the carbonization behavior of polyurethane foam by K2CO3.

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