Production Of Activated Carbons From Residual Biomass For Environmental Applications


Production Of Activated Carbons From Residual Biomass For Environmental Applications

Wed, 29/04/2015 - 13:15 to 14:15


Prof. Franco Berruti
Western University, Ontario

Activated carbons are the most commonly used adsorbent material, with a world market that is expected to exceed $3 billion by 2017. Their applications include wastewater treatment, air purification, removal of contaminants and many others.
In this study, a number of different agricultural and forestry residues have been investigated as precursors for the production of activated carbons subsequently tested for the removal of typical pollutants.
A novel lab scale microreactor with outstanding mixing and heat transfer characteristics has been developed and used for this study for the screening of the impact of pyrolysis conditions (ranging from fast to slow pyrolysis) and of activation on the final product properties. Among the residual biomasses tested, optimal feedstocks, pyrolysis and activation conditions have been identified. Activated carbons derived from the two best materials have been used for removal of contaminants, such as naphthenic acids from oil sands tailings and ammonia and mercury from wastewaters, and proven to exceed the performance of commercial activated carbons.
The presentation will also include a general overview of the research and development activities carried out at the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR).


Prof. Berruti graduated in Chemical Engineering from the Politecnico of Turin in 1982, and achieved a MASc in 1983 and a PhD in 1986 at the University of Waterloo. He started his career at the University of Calgary becoming a full professor in 1992 and Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies) in 1994. He served as Dean of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan (1996-2000) and at the University of Western Ontario (2000-2008). He is currently Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Western Ontario and Founding Director of the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR). Dr. Berruti is an accomplished and internationally recognized researcher with expertise in gas-solid fluidized bed reaction and reactor technologies applied to a number of catalytic and non-catalytic processes. Very significant contributions in this field include hydrodynamic and chemical simulators of chemical processes and considerable experimental research on thermal cracking of heavy hydrocarbons and biomass feedstocks. He is the co-inventor of a mobile biomass pyrolysis technology producing bio-oils and bio-char products from agricultural and forestry residues, wastes and transition crops commercialized by Agri-Therm.
Prof. Berruti is also the founding Editor of the International Journal of Chemical Reactor Engineering. He has contributed over 350 publications in a number of prestigious journals, books and conferences, and he holds four patents. He has co-chaired nine International Conferences. He is extensively involved in international collaborative projects in the USA, China, Brazil, Mexico, France, UK, Italy, Germany, Spain, and India and has received numerous awards and international recognitions.