Activated Carbons From Pecan Shells:

Period of Performance: 01/01/1997 - 12/31/1997


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Rio Grande Environmental
P.o. Box 8245
Albuquerque, NM 87198
Principal Investigator


This project addresses two problems of environmental and economic importance to New Mexico.The first problem is the value-added utilization of pecan shells, and agricultural waste from oneof New Mexico's most important crops. The second problem is the need to remove metal andorganic contaminants of environmental concern from wastewater produced by some of NewMexico's economically important industries. Our proposal is designed to produce granularactivated carbons (GACs) from pecan shells and utilize the GACs as an inexpensive point sourcetreatment of metal plating and jewelry manufacturing wastewater. The US-EPA has requestedthat Albuquerque, NM significantly reduce the metal and organic contaminants it discharges assewage into the Rio Grande River. The regulatory tightening will require wastewater fromcertain industries to be more scrupulously treated at the source before discharge. Preliminaryresults from our laboratory suggest that pecan shell-based GACs are excellent adsorbents forboth metals and common organic solvents found in many of the metal plating and jewelrymanufacturing facilities. Our Phase I objective will be to develop the most effective process ofcarbonization/activation or carbonization/activation/oxidation for producing pecan shell-basedGACs with superior adsorptive properties for metals and organics compared to commercialGACs, while retaining the excellent durability inherent in these shell-based carbons.