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A Comparative Analysis of Activated Carbons from African Teak (Iroko) Wood and Coconut Shell in Palm Oil Bleaching




This study compares the effectiveness of activated carbons from the African Teak/Iroko wood (Milicia excelsia) and coconut shell as adsorbents in Crude Palm Oil (CPO) bleaching. This was done in order to source for local agro-waste substitutes for the imported Fuller’s earth. The materials were activated using analytical grade CaCl2 in 25% solution at a temperature of 109OC in a laboratory hot air oven. The obtained activated carbon samples were subjected to proximate analysis to ascertain their percentage ash, moisture, volatile matter and fixed carbon contents. The CPO to be analysed was degummed, neutralized and further bleached using 2g, 4g, 6g, 8g, 10g, 12g and 14g of the adsorbent samples at a temperature of 130OC after which the obtained oils were analysed and results plotted. It was observed that the bleached oil samples generally had reduced specific gravity, opacity, colour, and free fatty acid (FFA) compared to the CPO. It was also observed that the opacity, colour, and FFA reduced as the adsorbent dosage increased. Conversely, the percentage colour reduction and the percentage FFA reduction increased with adsorbent dosage. Overall, the oil samples bleached by activated carbon from the African Teak/Iroko wood exhibited more desirable properties than the ones bleached by the coconut shell activated carbon.


Palm oil, activated carbon, free fatty acid


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