Optimization of activated carbon made from corn cobs [abstract]
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As part of an initiative to research and develop higher-values uses for agricultural by-products, this project is on producing activated carbon from corn cobs. This carbon is superior to any that is commercially available because of the increased surface area around 3500m2/g, whereas the commercially available carbon is closer to 500m2/g. Various uses for this carbon are being researched, the main use being for methane storage. Methane gas can be used as a fuel in vehicles. Typically the gas is stored in high pressure tanks ranging in pressure anywhere from 3,600 to 10,000 psig. Using our activated carbon we intend to store the same amount of methane stored in a 3,600 psig tank in a 500 psig tank. This will significantly increase safety and save energy that would be used to pressurize the gas. By varying the pore size and surface area different storage capacities can be maintained. Other uses for the carbon that are being researched include, catalyst adsorption, and advanced batteries.