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Activated carbons from end-products of tree nut and tree fruit production as sorbents for removing methyl bromide in ventilation effluent following postharvest chamber fumigation


, : Activated carbons from end-products of tree nut and tree fruit production as sorbents for removing methyl bromide in ventilation effluent following postharvest chamber fumigation. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 63(12): 3094-3103

End-products of tree nuts and tree fruits grown in California, USA were evaluated for the ability to remove methyl bromide (MB) from ventilation effluent following postharvest chamber fumigation. Activated carbon sorbents from walnut and almond shells as well as peach and prune pits were prepared using different methods of pyrolysis, activation, and quenching. Each source and preparation was evaluated for yield from starting material (%, m/m) and performance on tests where MB-containing airstreams were directed through a columnar bed of the activated carbon in an experimental apparatus, termed a parallel adsorbent column tester, which was constructed as a scaled-down model of a chamber ventilation system. We report the number of doses needed to first observe the breakthrough of MB downstream of the bed and the capacity of the activated carbon for MB (%, m/m) based on a fractional percentage of MB mass sorbed at breakthrough relative to mass of the bed prior to testing. Results were based on a novel application of solid-phase microextraction with time-weighted averaging sampling of MB concentration in airstreams, which was quantitative across the range of fumigation-relevant conditions and statistically unaffected by relative humidity. Activated carbons from prune pits, prepared either by steam activation or carbon dioxide activation coupled to water quenching, received the greatest number of doses prior to breakthrough and had the highest capacity, approximately 12-14%, outperforming a commercially marketed activated carbon derived from coconut shells. Experimental evidence is presented that links discrepancy in performance to the relative potential for activated carbons to preferentially sorb water vapor relative to MB.

US$19.90

PMID: 25758836

DOI: 10.1021/jf505193e


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