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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Enhanced biobased carbon materials made from softwood bark via a steam explosion preprocessing step for reactive orange 16 dye adsorption

Averheim, Andreas; Simões Dos Reis, Glaydson; Grimm, Alejandro; et al.


The growing textile industry produces large volumes of hazardous wastewater containing dyes, which stresses the need for cheap, efficient adsorbing technologies. This study investigates a novel preprocessing method for producing activated carbons from abundantly available softwood bark. The preprocessing involved a continuous steam explosion preconditioning step, chemical activation with ZnCl2, pyrolysis at 600 and 800 °C, and washing. The activated carbons were subsequently characterized by SEM, XPS, Raman and FTIR prior to evaluation for their effectiveness in adsorbing reactive orange 16 and two synthetic dyehouse effluents. Results showed that the steam-exploded carbon, pyrolyzed at 600 °C, obtained the highest BET specific surface area (1308 m2/g), the best Langmuir maximum adsorption of reactive orange 16 (218 mg g−1) and synthetic dyehouse effluents (>70 % removal) of the tested carbons. Finally, steam explosion preconditioning could open up new and potentially more sustainable process routes for producing functionalized active carbons.


Biobased carbon materials; Steam explosion; Softwood bark; Reactive orange 16: Adsorption; Activated carbon

Published in

Bioresource Technology
2024, Volume: 400, article number: 130698