Characteristics of Corncob-Originated Activated Carbon Using Two Different Chemical Agent

Nur Aini Rahma, Asih Kurniasari, Yoyok Dwi Setyo Pambudi, His Muhammad Bintang, Anne Zulfia, Chairul Hudaya

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The research and development of biomass-based activated carbon (AC) has attracted much attention from researchers due to the abundant resource of biomass, including corncob waste. The urgency to find alternative and innovative applications for simple, inexpensive carbon material can be obtained by synthesizing the corncob waste which is abundant renewable resource and suitable for carbon properties. The use of chemical agent during activation process is of important to produce the desired AC, including high surface area and excellent electrical conductivity. Among the various chemical agents, KOH and ZnCl2 have been widely applied for synthesizing AC. This study aims to find out the characteristics of corncob-originated activated carbon (CAC) using these two chemical agents. Step by step of activating carbon from corncob will be determined briefly. Corncob was dried and chopped. Then it was carbonized. After that, the carbon result was soaked in each chemical agent solution, KOH and ZnCl2, in different molarity for carbon chemical activation. For physical activation, impregnated carbon was carbonized again in high temperature under inert gas atmosphere until AC was obtained. We employed scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-Ray diffraction (XRD), and Raman Spectroscopy measurement to characterize the CAC samples. The results showed that the application of KOH and ZnCl2 at a different optimized process parameters exhibited the different results of surface morphology, structures, and crystallyte size. The crystallite size of the activated carbon using different chemical activating agents with varied concentrations is diverse enough. The XRD data revealed the average crystallite size of carbon with KOH as the activator is ∼45 nm in three different conditions. However, in the case of ZnCl2 as the activating agent, it shows the average size of ∼65 nm. This number is significantly higher than the activated carbon impregnated with KOH . Visual observation of SEM images gives an impression on the carbon pore where CACK12 posess the highest pores among those analytes. The synthesized corncob activated carbon can be used in many functional application such as energy storage materials, agriculture, and adsorbents in industrial and environmental sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012030
JournalIOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2019
Event3rd Materials Research Society of Indonesia Meeting, MRS-Id 2018 - Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Duration: 31 Jul 20182 Aug 2018


  • activated carbon
  • chemical Agent
  • corncob
  • KOH
  • ZnCl


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