Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering


The feasibility of producing activated carbon from lignite using a fluid bed reactor was investigated. Steam was used as the activating agent and was- reacted with carbonized lignite at elevated temperatures. The reaction was performed in a fluidized bed type reactor 1 l/2" in diameter and 24" in length.

Tests indicate that activated carbon with adsorptive properties equal to or better than commercial Darco activated carbon can be produced from lignite in a fluidized reactor. This conclusion was based on the results from heat of wetting and service time tests which were applied to both Darco activated carbon and the present product. These tests measure the adsorptive powers of an activated carbon. The heat of wetting and service time values for the present product were 1.24° c/gram and 11.61 minutes respectively. For the corresponding Darco activated carbon the values were 0.82° c/gram and 10.37 minutes respectively.

The variables investigated were feed rates, particle size, temperature, and steam flow rate to determine optimum conditions for the activation process. No optimums were found for the temperature and particle size variables due to the effect of a changing residence time in each case. Investigation of the feed rate variable from 150 to 500 gram/hr indicated no significant change in the product. For the apparatus used in this investigation, the best product resulted at steam rates below 0.35 SCP*/min, at a temperature of 1750° F, a feed rate of 300 grams/hr, and 40 by 60 mesh particles.