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LOCAL RESEARCH: Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Waste Management

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Executive Summary

The fly ash generated from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited was transformed to activated carbon through physical activation process in a high temperature tube furnace in this study. Effects of two factors including activation temperature and activation time were investigated. Iodine number, methylene blue value, surface microstructure, surface area and pore volume were all analyzed to assess the adsorption capacity of different carbon samples. In this study, the sample activated under 850 °C for 2 hours has the highest iodine number (704.53 mg/g) and methylene blue value (193.47 mg/g). Hence, it is selected to conduct further assessment on surface area and pore volume. Comparing the CBPP FA-Clean sample with the CBPP FA-850 °C-2hr sample, it is investigated that the surface area was significantly increased from 486.44 m2/g to 847.26 m2/g. Meanwhile, the pore volume increased from 0.18 cm3/g to 0.28 cm3/g. The result of scanning electron microscopy also reveals that there are lots of pores developed on the sample surface after activation at 850 °C for 2 hrs.

Batch test was conducted to evaluate the adsorption efficiency of the CBPP FA-850 °C-2hr on natural organic matter removal. The isotherm revealed that the use of 0.5 g (AC) /L (water) has the highest adsorption effectiveness, it is hence selected as the dose in column filtration experiment. A column filtration technology was then developed to further evaluate the adsorption capacity of the activated carbon. The column is 30 cm length and 40 mm diameter, and the CBPP FA-850 °C-2hr sample was placed at the bottom of the column to act as a carbon barrier. Water sample from a local community was continuously passed through the column for 24 hours. The organic matter, measured as total organic matter, in the water sample before and after the filtration was analyzed. Results indicate that more than 60% of the organic matter can be removed by the carbon barrier within 2 hours filtration. It is also discovered that the carbon barrier is more effective in the adsorption of light-sensitive organic matters.

Above all, this study can not only help CBPP with their waste management, but also provide a cost-effective approach which can be potentially applied in the water treatment field.

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