Production, activation and CO2 uptake capacity of a carbonaceous microporous material from palm oil residues

Cristina Moliner, Simona Focacci, Beatrice Antonucci, Aldo Moreno , Simba Biti, Fazlena Hamzah, Alfonso Martinez-Felipe, Elisabetta Arato* (Corresponding Author), Claudia Fernandez Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

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While Malaysia produces about half of the world’s palm oil and is the largest producer and exporter worldwide, oil palm industries generate large amounts of lignocellulosic biomass waste as a sub-product with no economic market value other than feedstock for energy valorisation. With the aim to increase the sustainability of the sector, in this work we prepare new materials for CO2 capture from palm oil residues (empty fruit bunches and kernels). The biochar is obtained through the carbonisation of the residues and is physically and chemically activated to produce porous materials. The resulting microporous samples have similar properties to other commercial activated carbons, with BET surfaces in the 320–880 m2/g range and pore volumes of 0.1–0.3 cm3·g−1. The CO2 uptake at room temperature for physically activated biochar (AC) was 2.4–3.6 mmolCO2/gAC, whereas the average CO2 uptake for chemically activated biochar was 3.36–3.80 mmolCO2/gAC. The amount of CO2 adsorbed decreased at the highest temperature, as expected due to the exothermic nature of adsorption. These findings confirm the high potential of palm oil tree residues as sustainable materials for CO2 capture
Original languageEnglish
Article number9160
Number of pages12
Issue number23
Early online date2 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

This research was funded by many parts. C.M. would like to acknowledge the Royal Society for the award of an International Exchange award (IES\R1\211069). S.F. and B.A. would like to acknowledge the Erasmus KA01 grant. A.M.-F. would like to acknowledge the Scottish Government and the Royal Society of Edinburgh for the award of a SAPHIRE project, the University of Aberdeen, for the award of two internal pump research grants, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, for the award of a Newton Fund project (NRCP1516_4_61). C.F.M would like to acknowledge the Scottish Funding Council for the award of several grants to investigate the synthesis of activated carbons from waste to reduce CO2 emissions (Grants Codes: SF10233, SF10249, and SF10164).


  • palm oil waste
  • CO2 uptake
  • adsorption
  • chemical and physical activation
  • Biochar


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