Development of highly microporous activated carbon from the alcoholic beverage industry organic by-products

C. Nieto-Delgado, M. Terrones, J. R. Rangel-Mendez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


This work has the aim to employ the agave bagasse, a waste from Tequila and Mescal industries, to obtain a product of high commercial value such as activated carbon. The activated carbon production methodology was based on a chemical activation, by using ZnCl2 and H3PO4 as activating agent and agave bagasse as a natural source of carbon. The activation temperature (150-450 °C), activation time (0-60 min) and weight ratio of activating agent to precursor (0.2-4) were studied. The produced carbon materials were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and nitrogen physisorption at -196 °C. In addition, the activating agent recovery was evaluated. We were able to obtain highly microporous activated carbons with micropore volumes between 0.24 and 1.20 cm3/g and a surface area within 300 and 2139 m2/g. These results demonstrated the feasibility to treat the industrial wastes of the Tequila and Mescal industries, being this wastes an excellent precursor to produce highly microporous activated carbons that can be processed at low activation temperatures in short times, with the possibility of recycling the activating agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-112
Number of pages10
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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