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Sample Collection and Preparation

The natural precursor to be used in the preparation of activated carbon is corn cob which

will be collected at Rosales, Pangasinan. One sack (50kg) of corn cob samples will be washed and

dried to remove dirt and surface impurity.

Piggery wastewater samples will be collected at Central Luzon State University, Swine

Production Area within the vicinity of the Department of Animal Science. The farm has a canal

going directly into the septic tank where manure and other waste products are deposited and

decomposed. Twenty (20) liters of the liquid wastewater that will be placed in two containers with

1-liter capacity of each.

Carbonization Process

The dried corn cobs will be cut into chips. After weighing, the 30 g sample will be

carbonized using a laboratory furnace subjected at 700°C for 1hr.

Chemical Reagent Used

The chemical reagent, phosphoric acid (H3PO4) will be used in the activation process and

will be obtained at Biochemical, Organic, and Natural Products (BONP) Laboratory, Department

of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, Annex Building, Central Luzon State University


Thermo-Chemical Activation Process

The method of activation was adapted from the work of dela Torre et al. (2011) and AL-

Tufaily (2016).
The activation of the carbonized corn cob will done by thermo-chemical activation process.

Phosphoric acid (H3PO4) will be measured using graduated cylinder with 70.58 mL for 2.0:1.0

impregnation ratio. The 30g carbonized corn cob will be added to the measured activating agent.

Mixture will be stirred for 5 minutes and will be covered with plastic film. The mixture will then

undergo soaking for 24 hours.

After the impregnation process, the thermal treatment will be carried at 500°C for 1 hour

using a laboratory oven (Vulcan A550). After the thermal treatment, the activated carbon will be

removed from the oven and be placed in a dessicator. Cooling and washing of produced activated

carbon with distilled water will be done until reaching the pH of 6. The final step will be the drying

of activated carbon at 110°C for two hours.

Characterization of Activated Carbon

Activated carbon was characterized by selected properties especially for wastewater

purification. These methods of characterization were adopted from Abdul Halim, et al., (2001),

Kaghazchi, et al., (2006), Gimba, et al, (2009), and dela Torre, et al., (2011)

Percent Ash

The ash content of activated carbon will be determined using standard methods (ASTM

D2866-94, 2001). Approximately 1-2 grams of activated carbon will be placed into weighed

crucibles. The activated carbon and crucibles will be dried for 24 hours at 80°C to obtain the dry

carbon weight.

The sample will be heated in an electrical furnace at 650°C for 3 hours and the remaining

solids or ash will be weighed and percent ash will be calculated using the following formula:
weight of ash
%Ash = ×100 (1)
weight of carbon

Percent Moisture

One gram (1.0g) of the carbonized corn cobs will be placed in a clean silica crucible that

will be dried in a desiccator and weighed and oven-dried at 105 °C for 3 hours after cooling in a

dessicator and weighed. The percent moisture of the carbonized corn cobs will be calculated using

the following formula:

(original wait of charcoal -weight of oven dried charcoal)

%Moisture = ×100 (2)
original weight of charcoal

Bulk Density

A 10 mL graduated cylinder will be filled to a specified volume with powdered activated

carbon that will be dried at 80°C for 24 hours. The cylinder will be weighed. The bulk density will

be calculated by using the following formula:

weight of dry material

Bulk Density = (3)
volume of packed dry material

pH of Activated Carbon

Determination of pH will be performed by gently boiling 100 mL of distilled water in an

Erlenmeyer flask containing 0.1 g activated carbon for 5 minutes. After boiling, the boiled carbon

solution will be cooled to room temp and will be diluted to 200 mL by adding distilled water. The

pH will be measured using a calibrated pH meter.

Morphological Structure Determination

The morphological structure of carbonized corn cob and thermo-activated corn cob will be

viewed by the Scanning Electron Microscope at 500x and 1500x magnification. This will be done

at the Nanoworks Laboratory, National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the

Philippines Diliman, Quezon City.

Batch Adsorption Procedure

The batch adsorption experiments will be carried out to investigate the influence of major

affecting parameters like adsorbent dosage on the adsorption capacity. Samples of activated carbon

will be weighed, T1 (0.5 mg), T2 (1 mg) and T3 (1.5 mg) and will be placed in a 125 mL Erlenmeyer

flask. One hundred (100) mL of piggery wastewater will be placed in the designated Erlenmeyer

flask and will be labeled accordingly. The adsorption behavior of activated carbon toward piggery

wastewater will be studied using batch equilibrium technique. The batch experiment will be carried

out using an automatic shaker agitated with speed of 200 rpm at room temperature (30±1°C) for


After the adsorption test, activated carbon from the treated wastewater will be filtered out.

It will be done by pouring the mixture to the funnel with filter paper and will be subjected to

gravity filtration. The samples will then be tested for water quality analysis.

Water Quality Analysis

Water quality analysis will be done two times, initial analysis will be made on the piggery

wastewater sample (untreated) and final analysis will be made on the three samples of 100 mL

piggery wastewater each having three replications treated with activated carbon with varying

adsorbent dosage. BOD, TSS, pH, ammonia, total coliform and phosphate are the parameters to
be measured through water quality analysis at CRL Environmental Corporation, Clarkfield,

Pampanga. The test results will then be compared to the effluent standards.

Statistical Analysis

The varying amounts of adsorbent which is the activated carbon will be considered in

establishing the adsorption capacity of the samples. Treatments 1, 2 and 3 will be equipped with

0.5 mg, 1 mg and 1.5 mg respectively and will be subjected to 100 mL of wastewater each.

The experiment will be laid out in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD). The level of

significance between treatments means will be analysed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA).

Comparison among treatment means will be analyzed using Duncan Multiple Range Test (DMRT)

at 5% level of significance. The treatments will be replicated three times. The treatment will be as


T1 – 0.5 mg/100 mL

T2 – 1 mg/100 mL

T3 – 1.5 mg/100 mL