Activated Carbon from Food Waste

Part of the Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World book series (ECSW, volume 19)


Activated carbons are considered to be the most successful adsorbent materials due to their high adsorption capacity for the majority of pollutants, e.g. dyes, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, phenols. They possess large surface area, and different surface functional groups, which include carboxyl, carbonyl, phenol, quinone, lactone and other groups bound to the edges of the graphite-like layers. Therefore, they are regarded as good adsorbents both in liquid and gas phases. The most widely used carbonaceous materials for the industrial production of activated carbons are coal, wood and coconut shell. These types of precursors are quite expensive and often imported, in many places; hence making it necessary, particularly for developing countries, to find a cheap and available feedstock for the preparation of activated carbon for use in industry, drinking water purification and wastewater treatment. In order to reduce the synthesis cost of activated carbons, some green final products are recently proposed, using several suitable agricultural by-products (lignocellulosics) – i.e. including olive-waste cakes, cattle-manue compost, bamboo materials, apple pulp, potato peel – as activated carbon precursors. In this chapter, special attention is given to activated carbons based on some of agricultural wastes from the Mediterranean region, which can be characterized as green.


Activated carbons Green materials Wastewaters Adsorption Pollutants Dyes Heavy metals 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hephaestus Advanced LaboratoryEastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of TechnologyKavalaGreece

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