Spherical carbons: Synthesis, characterization and activation processes

A. J. Romero-Anaya, M. Ouzzine, M. A. Lillo-Ródenas, A. Linares-Solano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)


Spherical carbons have been prepared through hydrothermal treatment of three carbohydrates (glucose, saccharose and cellulose). Preparation variables such as treatment time, treatment temperature and concentration of carbohydrate have been analyzed to obtain spherical carbons. These spherical carbons can be prepared with particle sizes larger than 10 μm, especially from saccharose, and have subsequently been activated using different activation processes (H3PO4, NaOH, KOH or physical activation with CO 2) to develop their textural properties. All these spherical carbons maintained their spherical morphology after the activation process, except when KOH/carbon ratios higher than 4/1 were used, which caused partial destruction of the spheres. The spherical activated carbons develop interesting textural properties with the four activating agents employed, reaching surface areas up to 3100 m2/g. Comparison of spherical activated carbons obtained with the different activating agents, taking into account the yields obtained after the activation process, shows that phosphoric acid activation produces spherical activated carbons with higher developed surface areas. Also, the spherical activated carbons present different oxygen groups' content depending on the activating agent employed (higher surface oxygen groups content for chemical activation than for physical activation).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-307
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Mar
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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