Steam-pyrolysis activation of wood char for superior odorant removal

Matthew F. Tennant, David W. Mazyck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A pre-charred, wood-based carbonaceous precursor was activated using a two-step process (steam-pyrolysis activation) to investigate the potential for optimizing an activation protocol for the production of powdered activated carbon (PAC) tailored to effectively remove the taste- and odor-causing compound 2-methylisoborneol (MIB). Activation temperature, activation time, and steam-to-carbon ratio were the activation parameters modified to find the best operating conditions. The success of the tailored PACs was judged on performance in batch experiments, which were designed to simulate actual water treatment plant conditions and used natural water spiked with 14C-MIB. Activation temperature had the greatest impact on PAC performance, with 1123 K providing the best operating point. The pore size distribution data revealed a strong correlation between an increase in mesoporosity and MIB removal in the raw waters. In addition, the tailored PAC with the optimized activation protocol outperformed existing commercially available PAC, indicating the plausibility of tailoring activation protocols for superior MIB removal from natural waters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2195-2202
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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