Comparison on surface properties and desulfurization of MnO2 and pyrolusite blended activated carbon by steam activation

In this study, MnO2 and pyrolusite were used as the catalysts to prepare modified activated carbon, that is, AC-Mn and AC-P, respectively, from coals by blending method and steam activation. The Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) results indicated that the AC-P had higher surface areas and micropore volumes than the AC-Mn with the same blending ratio. The relative contents of basic functional groups (i.e., C = O, π-π*) on AC-P were slightly lower than those on AC-Mn, while both contained the same main metal species, namely, MnO. The desulfurization results showed that with 3 wt% of blending ratio, AC-Mn3 and AC-P3 had higher sulfur capacities at 220 and 205 mg/g, respectively, which were much higher than for the blank one (149.6 mg/g). Moreover, the AC-P had relatively higher sulfur capacity than the AC-Mn with the same contents of Mn, which might be attributed to the existence of other metals in pyrolusite. After the desulfurization process, MnO were gradually transferred into MnSO4, and the relative contents of basic functional groups decreased evidently for both AC-Mn3 and AC-P3. The results demonstrated that pyrolusite could be one good alternative to MnO2 to prepare modified activated carbon for desulfurization.

Implications: MnO2 and pyrolusite were used as the additives to prepare modified activated carbon from coals by a blending method and by steam activation, that is, AC-Mn and AC-P, respectively. The AC-P had higher surface areas and micropore volumes than the AC-Mn with the same blending ratio. The AC-Mn and AC-P had higher sulfur capacities than a blank one. Moreover, the AC-P had relatively higher sulfur capacity than the AC-Mn with the same contents of Mn. The results demonstrated that pyrolusite could be one good alternative to MnO2 to prepare modified activated carbon for desulfurizatio.