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Anak James, A., Rahman, M. R., Huda, D., M. Aqlan, F. M., Matin, M. M., Bin Bakri, M. K., King Kuok, K., and Rahman, M. M. (2022). "Synthesis and characterization of novel nano-carbon mixture from Dabai (Canarium odontophyllum) nutshell," BioResources 17(3), 4452-4469.


The nanocarbon-based mixture was shown to be an effective adsorbent for removing dyes and heavy metals from wastewater via adsorption. The goal of this research was to prepare and investigate the properties of a bio-carbon mixture made from Dabai (Canarium odontophyllum) nutshell with the addition of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and montmorillonite (MMT) clay. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to determine the functional groups of raw carbon and potassium hydroxide (KOH)-activated carbon (AC). The FTIR analysis of the active carbon revealed that the active carbon had more surface chemistry than the non-AC. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was used to compare the raw and AC morphologies and the developed nanocarbon. The results were confirmed using energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis to verify the elements in the studied sample. The SEM analysis revealed that the structure of both the carbon samples was irregular, granular, and porous. BET analysis showed that nano-activated carbon had higher surface area compared to activated carbon itself. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used in Design-Expert 13.0 software for the sample composition development to achieve the best performance of the developed nanocarbon as an adsorbent.

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Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Nano-carbon Mixture from Dabai (Canarium odontophyllum) Nutshell

Anthonette Anak James,a Md Rezaur Rahman,a,* Durul Huda,b Faisal M. Aqlan,c Mohammed Mahbubul Matinf, Muhammad Khusairy Bin Bakri,a Kuok King Kuok,d and Mohammed Muzibur Rahman e

The nanocarbon-based mixture was shown to be an effective adsorbent for removing dyes and heavy metals from wastewater via adsorption. The goal of this research was to prepare and investigate the properties of a bio-carbon mixture made from Dabai (Canarium odontophyllum) nutshell with the addition of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and montmorillonite (MMT) clay. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was used to determine the functional groups of raw carbon and potassium hydroxide (KOH)-activated carbon (AC). The FTIR analysis of the active carbon revealed that the active carbon had more surface chemistry than the non-AC. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was used to compare the raw and AC morphologies and the developed nanocarbon. The results were confirmed using energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis to verify the elements in the studied sample. The SEM analysis revealed that the structure of both the carbon samples was irregular, granular, and porous. BET analysis showed that nano-activated carbon had higher surface area compared to activated carbon itself. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used in Design-Expert 13.0 software for the sample composition development to achieve the best performance of the developed nanocarbon as an adsorbent.

DOI: 10.15376/biores.17.3.4452-4469

Keywords: Activated carbon; Adsorption; Response surface methodology; Nanocarbon

Contact information: a: Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak Jalan Datuk Mohammad Musa 94300, Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia; b: Department of Mechanical Engineering and Product Design Engineering, Swinburne University of Technology, 3122, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia; c Department of Chemistry, College of Sciences, University of Jeddah, 21589 Jeddah, P.O. Box 80327, Saudi Arabia.; d: Faculty of Engineering, Computing, and Science, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, 93400, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia; e: Department of Chemistry & Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials Research (CEAMR), Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, P.O. Box 80203, Saudi Arabia; f: Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University of Chittagong, Chittagong, 4331, Bangladesh

*Corresponding author:


Activated carbon products made from plant resources are among the most important adsorbents in the wastewater treatment industry. Due to the abundance of biomass resources and simple production routes, several studies on the synthesis of carbonaceous materials from biomass have been conducted (Varma 2019; Son et al. 2021). These two factors have been identified as two key contributors to the rapid development of carbonaceous materials. Many recent studies have focused on low-cost and sustainable carbonaceous materials that are produced from industrial by-products or agricultural waste, as conventional adsorbents have some limitations in terms of cost and regeneration (Gisi et al. 2016; Karoui et al. 2019; Maguana et al. 2019; Chikri et al. 2020). This problem has prompted researchers to seek natural non-conventional adsorbents due to their renewability, sustainability, and biocompatibility in treating industrial effluent. The production of carbonaceous materials from biomass has several advantages, including cost-effectiveness, sustainability, and environmental friendliness (Zaman et al. 2017; Wataniyakul et al. 2018). Saleem et al. (2019) and Ahmad and Azam (2019) stated that activated carbonaceous material has an excellent pore structure with a large surface area and good adsorption ability in removing organic and inorganic contaminants from wastewater.

Canarium odontophyllum, also known as Dabai, has been recognized as a possible raw material for activated carbon (AC) production. Dabai, a seasonal fruit, is abundantly found in tropical forests in East Malaysia, specifically in Sibu, Sarawak. A rough and woody endocarp of Dabai seed contains edible cotyledon inside, and the physical traits of this nutshell mimic those of a palm kernel shell. Studies related to Dabai nutshell are relatively new, as it has been discovered that Dabai has strong adsorbent properties. According to Kuang et al. (2020) and Srivatsav et al. (2020), the functional groups present on the surface of Dabai nutshell have a vital role in wastewater adsorption due to their effectiveness in adsorbing multiple ranges of pollutants, such as dyes, hazardous materials, and heavy metals. Chikri et al. (2020) found that using acid and alkali solutions during the pre-treatment of AC-based lignocellulosic materials improved its adsorption properties. However, there is still a scarcity of information on Dabai nutshell AC for wastewater treatment with titanium dioxide (TiO2) and montmorillonite (MMT) nano clay. The titanium dioxide (TiO2) has photocatalytic activity which results in thin coatings exhibiting self-cleaning and disinfecting properties under exposure to ultraviolet radiation

This study aimed to develop a nanocarbon mixture from Dabai nutshells through a pyrolysis process with potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution to activate the micropores and mesopores of AC, which is one of the crucial factors in facilitating the adsorption reaction. In this study, two types of carbonaceous materials were prepared, including non-AC and AC. Finally, nano-sized particles were prepared using milling AC and nano-AC along with TiO2 and montmorillonite (Khui et al. 2020). The manufactured mixture was compatible with each other, and it provides a larger surface area due to the montmorillonite (MMT) nano-clay which has easily helped to bind the pollutants from wastewater. The study also employed Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) to evaluate the morphological, chemical, and physical properties, as well as the composition of the developed nanocarbon mixture. In addition, critical analysis and comparisons were performed to validate the performance of the developed nanocarbon against the available results.



The titanium (IV) oxide (CAS Number: 14363-67-7), MMT K10 (CAS Number 1318-93-0), and zinc oxide (CAS Number 1314-13-2) were obtained from Sigma-Aldrich Sdn (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia). The Dabai nutshell (C. Odontophyllum) was obtained from Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia.


Sample preparation

The Dabai seed was collected from an orchard located in Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia during the seasonal period. The Dabai nutshell was air-dried and stored in an airtight compartment. Seeds were crushed with a pestle and mortar to separate the kernel from the nutshell. They were then soaked in an acetone solution to remove impurities and cleaned with deionized water. The sample was placed in an oven at 110 °C for 24 h to dry. After drying, the sample was crushed and sieved (after sieving, the particle size was less than 0.036 mm) once more to obtain small particles that would increase the surface interaction during activation.

Chemical activation of the prepared sample

Twenty grams of ground Dabai shell were treated and activated using 100 mL of KOH in an auto-shaker at 140 rpm for 24 h. After completing the sample activation, the sample was washed thoroughly with deionized water until the pH 7. After obtaining desired values of pH 7, the sample was placed in the oven to dry at 80 °C for 12 h. The sample was spread on a plate to ensure even heat distribution and to eliminate variable hotpots during the drying process

Carbonization of the sample

The carbonization process was performed using an LT Furnace (Selangor, Malaysia). The dried treated Dabai particle was then transferred into a ceramic bowl and wrapped in aluminum foil and a layer of clay before it was placed in the LT Furnace for carbonization. During the carbonization step, the temperature was ramped from room temperature to 200 ℃, followed by 400 ℃ at a heating rate of 10 ℃/min. At 400 ℃, the temperature was maintained for 1 h for the carbonization process to occur. Next, the furnace was cooled at 6.16 ℃/min until it reached room temperature. The sample was left overnight and retrieved from a furnace the next day. The fine biocarbon was obtained after completing the carbonization process. Next, it was collected and sieved using a 200 μm sieve to reduce the fine biocarbon (or fine biochar) and assist the ball milling process.

Nano-carbon preparation by the ball milling process

To further assist the ball milling process, the sieved biocarbon (or biochar) obtained was further ground using a grinder for approximately 5 to 10 min at a speed ranging between 18,000 and 20,000 rpm. The ground biocarbon was added into the cylindrical compartment of the ball mill (approximately 55% of the capacity). Twenty small-size stainless-steel ball of 0.5 g each were used to transform the biochar into a nano size. The biochar was milled for 30 h, and the sample was extracted for testing periodically at an interval of time to ensure it reached to the 50 to 120 nm.

Preparation of the nano AC mixture

The Dabai-based activated nano-carbon, the TiO2, and the MMT were mixed according to the composition results in Table 1 to prepare the nanocarbon mixture. The composition results were prepared using Design-Expert 13.0 software (StatEase, Minneapolis, MN, USA).

FTIR Analysis

An IRAffinity-1 FTIR spectrophotometer (Shimadzu, Kyoto, Japan) was used to examine the functional groups and structures of the molecular bond by analyzing the IR spectrum bands between 4000 and 400 cm-1. Approximately 0.1 to 1.0% of the sample were mixed with 200 to 250 mg of dry powder KBr in a small agate pestle to create a sample pellet for FTIR spectroscopy. Then, the mixture was pelletized and taken into the sample holder inside the spectroscopy. The FTIR spectrum results were analyzed using the ASTM E1252-98 (2021) and ASTM E168-16 (2016) standards.

Table 1. Experimental Factors

SEM Analysis

A Hitachi analytical tabletop SEM (benchtop) (TM-3030, Hitachi High Technologies, Mannheim, Germany) was used to examine the morphological image data of the samples, particularly the porosity. The samples were positioned on aluminum stubs and fine-coated with a JFC-1600 auto fine coater (JEOL, Tokyo, Japan). The images of the nanocarbon surface were collected using a field emission gun with 5 and 15 kV voltage values. This procedure was carried out according to the ASTM E2015-04 standard (2014).

EDX Analysis

The EDX analysis was used to determine the elementary composition of materials in the sample.

BET Surface are of Activated Carbon (AC) and Nano Activated Carbon (NAC)

The BET surface area analysis was conducted according to the ASTM D6556-14 (2014) standard. The degassing temperature was set at 130 °C for 3 h. The test was repeated numerous times for each sample and the most representative results were selected.


FTIR Analysis of the Raw Carbon and the KOH-AC

The main functional groups in the Dabai nutshell raw carbon were determined based on the O−H and C−H stretching bands, as depicted in Fig. 1. A strong O−H stretching band was observed at the peaks of 3591.5, 3363.9, and 3169.0 cm-1. This finding is supported by the presence of the O−H functional group in raw corncob carbon, as mentioned by Feng et al. (2020). Zheng et al. (2018) investigated the microcrystalline in biomass and discovered that the band becomes less intense as the reformation of intermolecular hydrogen bonds between free hydroxyl and water molecules increases. This is due to the breakdown of intermolecular and intramolecular hydrogen bonds in the main chain of cellulose during the physical process. In addition, the C−H band was visible at peak intensities of 2897.1 and 2735.1 cm-1. This band is defined by Zheng et al. (2018) as aliphatic moieties of symmetric and asymmetric C−H groups in polysaccharides. The peak intensity at 2897.1 cm-1 showed the presence of methylene with C−H stretching in the non-activated sample. Salim et al. (2021) also specified a similar band observed in the FTIR result of Leucaena leucocephala bark, which indicates the aromatic methoxyl group of lignin, methylene, and methyl groups. Besides, isothiocyanate ions are detected with the appearance of peaks at 2173.8, 2123.6, and 2044.5 cm-1. The aryl-alkyl ether functional group was found at the peak of 1269.2 cm-1, which as attributed to the C−O−C stretching motion. Aside from that, the presence of the C−H aromatic hydrogen linkage was also detected at the absorbance bands of 869.9 and 823.6 cm-1 (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. IR spectra of the Dabai based raw carbon

The presence of a peak at 1589.3 cm-1 referred to the C=C stretching in an aromatic skeletal mode of lignin. This peak was slightly reduced to 1577.8 cm-1 after undergoing chemical activation with KOH. The degradation of lignin, which involves aryl ether bonding, would initiate the formation of phenolic components, particularly ferulic acid and p-coumaric acid (Janusz et al. 2017; Li and Wilkins 2020). The decrease of lignin provides a good structural effect to the AC as it can increase the structure porosity of the sample (Darmawan et al. 2016; Poursorkhabi et al. 2020). The appearance of functional groups such as O−H, C=O, C−O−C, C−O, and C−H alkyl and aromatic identified the presence of polysaccharides in the raw carbon before the chemical activation (Darmawan et al. 2016). Compared to the IR spectra in Fig. 1, the IR spectra in Fig. 2 was flatter, ranging from 3000 to 1000 cm-1. Unlike the Dabai raw carbon, the FTIR results of the Dabai AC displayed an apparent decrease in the peak intensity, indicating that the samples lost functional groups during the activation process volatilization. As a result, the Dabai activated carbon had a weak band, and some cellulose remained in the sample. The peak intensities between 1600 and 1700 cm-1 referred to the functional carboxylic acid group in the raw and carbonized materials. This peak can be found at an absorbance band of 1764.9 cm-1 in Fig. 2. However, because carbonized materials have an alkali pH, the band intensity was reduced in the carbonized sample. This is supported by the findings of Mistar et al. (2020), where a reduction in the peak intensities in palm oil trunk biochar compared to the raw sample was found. The effect of the pre-treatment technique on the lignocellulosic material resulted in the formation of the carboxylic acid functional group. The peak at 2870.1 cm-1 represented the methylene functional group (C−H stretching). Four peaks distinguished from the O−H stretching were detected at 3782.4, 3489.2, 3280.9, and 3170.1 cm-1. According to Bernal et al. (2018), the functional groups detected in the FTIR spectra are formed by the reaction of heteroatoms such as hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen with the carbon matrix.

Fig. 2. IR spectra of the KOH-AC

FTIR Analysis of the AC/TiO2/MMT Mixture

Figure 3 shows the FTIR results for the developed AC/TiO2/MMT mixture. The adsorption band at 1600.9 cm-1 indicates the C=C stretching of the conjugated and cyclic alkene of mixture. The peak intensity at 1203.6 cm-1 shows the adsorption peak of a solid C−O stretching band of alkyl aryl ether, while the peak at 1035.8 cm-1 distinguished a strong S=O stretching in AC/TiO2/MMT mixture before the adsorption process. According to Chobchun et al. (2020) and Kusiak-Nejman et al. (2018), the peak between 1038 and 1060 cm-1 represents C and Ti-O electron affinity, indicating the incorporation of carbon into TiO2.

The peak at 634.58 cm-1 refers to the C−Cl stretching band of the halo compound. The appearance of peak intensities at 565.14 and 536.21 cm-1 in Fig. 7 represents the Si−O stretching variation bond of the MMT nanofiller (Mohammed et al. 2020). Such peaks also have been observed in the study of palm oil mill effluent (POME) treatment using developed silica membrane and poly(L-lactic acid)-poly(ethylene glycol) conducted by Kamil et al. (2020). The presence of these peaks provides a good adhesion interaction within the mixture. Arjmandi et al. (2016) and Li et al. (2017) reported that MMT has several uniform polar sites on its structure that indicate the content of electron density along with the interlayer spaces and their surfaces. As stated by Kuang et al. (2020) and Ahrouch et al. (2019), the addition of MMT clay has little effect on the chemical composition, but it lowers the adsorption peak of AC. This is supported by the findings of Arjmandi et al. (2016), which reported that the chemical structure of MMT clay with mixture does not change because no new functional groups are observed.

Fig. 3. IR spectra of the AC/TiO2/MMT mixture before adsorption

Morphological Analysis of the Raw Carbon and the AC

The samples were analyzed by SEM to observe and visualize the surface texture of both the non-activated and the KOH-activated Dabai based carbon. Figures 4a and 4b show the surface morphologies of the non-activated and AC at 80× magnification, while Figs. 4c and 4d show the surface morphologies at 1,000× magnification. Based on the observations, Fig. 4a offers multiple microfibrils with an irregular rod-like structure slightly more prominent than in Fig. 4b. The compact, rigid structure of the microfibrils particle exhibit an intuitive reduction into loosened open-pore width particles of roughly 140 to 80 µm, as illustrated in Fig. 4b. Based on Karinkanta et al. (2018) and Phanthong et al. (2018), this is due to the milling process where the reduction of size can be achieved with some split open on the structure, which degraded into small particles resulting in an increasing number of particulates (Fig. 4a). Zheng et al. (2018) observed the breakage and agglomeration in microcrystalline carbon particles during the mechanical grinding process, where individual carbon particles began to aggregate. Over milling may also initiate compact globular fragments of carbon exhibited granular texture, as shown by the red circle in Fig. 4b.

Figures 4c and 4d show the porous structure of the sample, distinguishing the general characteristics of the carbonaceous materials. By comparing these two figures, the size of the pores in Fig. 4d is much bigger, particularly between 6 and 8 µm. On the other hand, Fig. 4c shows pores in the size range of 3 to 4 µm. The activation process performed on Dabai nutshell-based carbon is expected to improve the porosity of AC. Heidarinejad et al. (2020) observed the porosity size of the AC’s influence on the adsorption capacity of the sample. Mu’aza et al. (2017) and Gao et al. (2020) found that different types of the precursors, such as activating agents, would exhibit other characteristic behaviors for pores size, surface area, and distribution of particles. Due to the activation, the surface area was increased compared to non-activated Dabai nutshell-based carbon for enhancing the absorption capacity. This has been supported by Min et al. (2017), who found that some AC has poor porous structure due to the blocking effect of activating agents on the surface. According to Chowdhury et al. (2013), when the biomass materials used have indistinctive porosity, causing the alkaline dehydrating agents to be unable to penetrate the raw materials, which explains the poor porosity of the KOH-AC.

Fig. 4. Morphological images of the a) raw carbon (80× magnification), b) KOH-AC (80× magnification), c) raw carbon (1,500× magnification), and d) KOH-AC (1,500× magnification)


The activating agent KOH is used to activate both carbon micropores and mesopores. According to Deng et al. (2016), a mixture of three components (cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose) initiates three-dimensional structures such as the porous structure of macropores, mesopores, and micropores as the amount of lignin present is less than 50%. The choice of KOH concentration for the activation process is crucial because it influences the formation of micropores in the internal void of KOH-AC (Yang et al. 2017). Yang et al. (2017) added that when the concentration of KOH is too high, it destroys the micropores, which causes them to grow in size. Though they would be too small to show up in these images, it is expected that the internal structure of KOH-AC formed numerous micropores and mesopores, which can increase the adsorption of contaminants from POME. This structure is similar to the result observed by Taoufik et al. (2019) in their research related to AC-TiO2 for emerging pollutants removal.

Morphological Analysis of the AC/TiO2/MMT Clay Mixture

The morphology of the developed powder is an essential critical characteristic that demonstrates how adsorption activity influences their application in wastewater treatment. Figures 5a and 5b show the SEM images of the sample 13 and sample 17 mixture, respectively, at 500× magnification, while Fig. 5c and 5d depict the images at 1,000× magnification. The distribution of the AC/TiO2/MMT clay in sample 13 (Fig. 5a) was uneven because the AC content was much higher than the TiO2 and MMT clay, as illustrated in Table 2. The SEM image of Fig. 5b with ratio 1:1:2 AC/TiO2/MMT clay mixture shows an even composition distribution. The AC particles had an irregular rod-like shape, the MMT clay particles had larger white flakes, and the TiO2 particles had smaller white fragments. Based on Djellabi et al. (2019) and Matteis et al. (2020), TiO2 is easily trapped on the rough and homogeneous surface of the AC. This statement is supported by Fig. 5c, which illustrates some of the TiO2 white flakes found on the surface of the AC. The findings support the FTIR analysis results for the powder in Fig. 5, where the attachment of TiO2 on the AC rendered them unidentifiable by FTIR.

Fig. 5. Morphological images of sample a) 13 raw mixture (500× magnification), b) 17 raw mixture (500× magnification), c) 13 raw mixture (1,000× magnification), and d) 17 raw mixture (1,000× magnification)

Figures 5a and 5b show the roughened surfaces caused by the aggregation of the TiO2 deposition on the surface due to poor dispersion of the particles. This finding was confirmed by Murugadoss et al. (2020), who discovered that TiO2 agglomeration occurs due to suspended sample preparation influenced by time. The small uniform aggregation of TiO2 and MMT clay dispersion in Fig. 5d provides more reactive sites than large, agglomerated particles, such as in Fig. 5e. Therefore, to create an effective non-conventional mixture, excellent dispersion of TiO2 and MMT compositions is required over the sample, as uneven distribution may reduce the practical treatment ability (Keane 2013).

Table 2. Composition of the AC/TiO2/ MMT Clay Mixture

The EDX diffraction was correlated with the SEM analysis. The peaks of the element composition present in the AC/TiO2/MMT clay mixture samples 13 and 17 are depicted in Figs. 6 and 7.

Fig. 6. EDX diffraction spectra with its element compositions of sample 13 (raw)

Fig. 7. EDX diffraction spectra with its element compositions of sample 17 (raw)

Based on the EDX spectrum presented by the graphs, the higher atomic percentage of elements was dominated by carbon (C) and oxygen (O). This illustrates that C and O are the main components of carbonaceous material. The C percentages for Tables 3 and 4 were 65.7% and 67.4%, while the O percentages were 27.1% and 28.7%, respectively. The findings concluded that the C and O contents in both samples were nearly identical, with a difference of 1% to 2%.

Table 3. EDX Composition of Sample 13 (raw)

Table 4. EDX Composition of Sample 17 (raw)

Analysis of the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) Surface Area

The Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) test was conducted to evaluate the specific surface area of activated carbon after the milling process using nitrogen gas adsorption method at 77 K by Autosorb iQ Any Gas (AG) sorption. The specific surface area with a unit of m2/g shows the porosity, shape, distribution of pore size, and roughness of the activated carbon (Amador and Martin 2016). According to the findings, Table 5 shows that the specific surface area for prepared activated carbon was 5.09 m2/g, whereas the nano activated carbon was 25.8 m2/g. This indicates that the ball milling method successfully reduced the particle size to nano scale (Khairulzaim et al. 2021; Inderan et al. 2014). The initial size was influenced by the pyrolysis process during activation and other factors such as nitrogen gas flow rate, temperature, and time (Quan et al. 2019; Zhang et al. 2019; Zuo et al. 2018). It was reflected on the SEM analysis, which shows a reduction in particle and pore sizes. The activation temperature promotes the formation of pore structures (Chen et al. 2018). Moreover, when the activation temperature reaches a certain point, the adsorption capacity of activated carbon was reduced due to the over-activated process. Figures 8, 9 and 10 represent the trend of the surface area of activated and nano activated carbon. Figure 8 revealed that the surface area increased with increases of the time for both activated and nano activated carbon. The adsorption capabilities of both activated carbons were shown in Figs. 9 and 10, respectively (Khui et al. 2020).

Table 5. Specific Surface Area (m2/g) of Activated Carbon (AC) and Nanoactivated Carbon (NAC)

Fig. 8. Multi-Point BET plot for activated carbon and nano-activated carbon

Fig. 9. Isotherm BET plot (adsorption) of activated and nano-activated carbon

Fig. 10. Isotherm BET plot (desorption) of activated and nano-activated carbon


  1. Dabai (C. odontophyllum) is a sustainable material that can create useful mixture material for adsorption applications. The presence of functional groups such as hydroxyl, phenolic, amide groups, and carbonyl on its surface provides strong adsorbent properties. The developed FTIR spectra revealed the presence of carboxylic compounds in the activated carbon sample, which improved its adsorption properties.
  2. Apart from good adsorbent properties, biodegradable material can also reduce solid waste production once it has reached its lifespan. According to the findings, one of the crucial factors that influence the pore structure, adsorption capacity, and formation of active sites on mixture surfaces is the composition of mixture.
  3. The findings of this study demonstrated that activated carbon derived from Dabai has a high potential for wastewater treatment. The characterization analyses revealed that both the non-activated and AC samples had an irregular, granular, and porous structure.
  4. The pore dimension of AC is smaller than that of the non-activated carbon due to the blocking effect of metallic alkaline on the carbon matrix. The EDX analysis confirmed that carbonized materials have a higher percentage of carbon as the organic materials in the biomass decompose, resulting in a carbon-rich product. The specific surface area for nano activated carbon was higher than that of the activated carbon.


The authors would like to express their most sincere appreciation and deepest gratitude to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Energy Sustainability, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Malaysia, Sarawak.


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Article submitted: Dec. 23, 2021; Peer review completed: April 16, 2022; Revised version received: May 22, 2022; Accepted after further revisions: May 27, 2022; Published: June 3, 2022.

DOI: 10.15376/biores.17.3.4452-4469