Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

Angelo J. Perna

Second Advisor

David S. Kristol

Third Advisor

Howard S. Kimmel


An experimental study was undertaken to compare the adsorptive characteristics of activated carbon, flyash, and activated flyash. Due to the contradictory evidence available in the literature, emphasis was placed on the effect of acid activation on the physical properties of the adsorbent. The experiment consisted of two parts; batch isotherm studies, and continuous column operations. An artificial sewage composed of a mixture of deionized water and beef broth was used as the adsorbate. This solution was prepared daily and exerted a COD of 225 ± 30 mg/l. Flyash activation was found to increase the degree of adsorption indirectly rather than directly, by altering ash properties. Acid activation neutralized ash pH, reduced ash COD by 73%, lowered leachable solids by 50 to 70% and effectively hindered desorption. Within the limits of its adsorptive capacity activated ash exhibited characteristics similar to those of activated carbon, however the carbon adsorbed 67.2 times more COD than an equal volume of activated ash.



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