Synthesis of activated carbon fibers from cotton by microwave induced H3PO4 activation

Xinhui Duan, C. Srinivasakannan, Xin Wang, Fei Wang, Xinyi Liu

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103 Scopus citations


The preparation of activated carbon fiber (ACF) with cotton as raw precursor via microwave assisted H3PO4 activation was explored in the present study. The influence of microwave power, activation time and acid concentration on the properties of activated carbon fiber was investigated. The ACF with maximum surface area and total pore volume of 1370 m2/g and 0.98 cm3 was prepared at microwave input power of 640 W, activation time of 10 min and H3PO4 concentration of 50% (Wt.). The ACF was tested with methylene blue (MB) dye adsorption and the equilibrium adsorption capacity was 476 mg/g, with the adsorption isotherm following the Langmuir isotherm model. The adsorption kinetic followed the pseudo-second-order kinetic model, while the adsorption mechanism was well described by the film diffusion model. The experimental results indicated the potential of cotton as good precursor for the preparation of ACF with promising adsorption capacity by microwave heating.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)374-381
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Activated carbon fiber
  • Adsorption
  • Cotton
  • Methylene blue
  • Microwave


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