Flexible adsorptive fiber from activated carbon powder

Taweechai Amornsakchai, Atcharaphan Phothong


Flexible adsorptive polymeric fiber was prepared from a mixture of activated
carbon powder, paraffin wax and polypropylene. Activated carbon powder was first coated
with paraffin wax. The optimum amount of wax was found to be about 23% by weight of
activated carbon. The activated carbon-wax mixture was then mixed with polypropylene
with the ratio of PP:activated carbon of 87:13 by weight. The best method to produce
adsorptive fiber is, first, to melt-spin the mixture into continuous fiber. Then this as-spun
fiber is drawn to the highest possible draw ratio in order to give it adequate strength for
further processing. Finally the paraffin wax is extracted with hexane. The performance of
the fibers prepared in this way was evaluated from methylene blue adsorption capacity.
After extraction the fiber could adsorb more methylene blue than before. Drawing also
enhanced the adsorption capacity. The adsorption capacity of the activated carbon in the
drawn and extracted fiber is approximately 97% that of the starting activated carbon powder.
The adsorptive fiber displays mechanical strength that is high enough for further processing
in general textile machineries.

Keywords: activated carbon, adsorptive fiber, methylene blue adsorption

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