Creatinine Adsorption by Activated Carbon Fibre (ACF) Derived from Empty Fruit Bunch (EFB) Fibre

Ivan V. K. Chai, Lim Xiao Yien, Ting Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adsorption is an important process in the haemodialysis treatment to treat patients with kidney failure. Adsorption membranes in haemodialysis systems are usually made of synthetic polymers but these membranes do not have high efficiency in removing uremic toxins such as urea, uric acid and creatinine. Thus, it is suggested to replace the current membranes with a new material that has high adsorption capability as well as being lightweight and low cost. This study suggests that activated carbon may be a potential replacement of current haemodialysis membranes. Activated carbon fibre is chosen due to their better adsorptive characteristics compared to granular and powder activated carbon. Empty fruit bunch fibre is chosen to produce activate carbon fibre because it is easily available in abundance throughout the year and has low commercial value. There is not much information available on creatinine adsorption using activated carbon fibre derived from empty fruit bunch fibre. Cleaned empty fruit bunch fibre is impregnated with 4 different chemicals to produce activated carbon fibre. The effects of these chemical treatments on the pore characteristics and physiochemical properties are studied. Activated carbon fibre samples are produced via pre-carbonisation chemical treatment followed up by carbonisation at 400 °C and activation at 900 °C. Samples exhibited Type I isotherm which indicates the presence of micro and mesoporous structure. The sample treated with phosphoric acid has the highest BET surface area of 1493 m2/g and pore volume of 0.782 cm3/g compared to other samples. Carbon burn-off of activated carbon fibre sample treated with phosphoric acid proved to be 86% which is the highest among all samples despite having the best adsorbing capability. This work has shown that activated carbon fibre treated with phosphoric acid has the potential in replacing the current membrane used in the current haemodialysis system with creatinine removal of 70% and urea removal of 68% which is higher than the conventional haemodialysis membrane.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-70
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Engineering Science and Technology
Issue numberSpecial Issue 2
Early online date1 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - May 2017


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