Chapter 1


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activated carbon - proposal defense chapter 1: The Project and Its Background

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Chapter 1

  1. 1. Page |1 CHAPTER 1 THE PROJECT AND ITS BACKGROUNDI. Introduction Activated carbon, also called activated charcoal, activated coal, or carbo activatus, is aform of carbon processed to be riddled with small, low-volume pores that increase the surfacearea available for adsorption , purification and filtration of substances.1 It is generally used inwater filters, medicines that selectively remove toxins, and chemical purification processes as acleaning agent. Various manufacturers, businesses, government agencies, scientists and chemists,and even simple people use this carbon. Activated carbon is produced by the oxidation of charcoal made from wood, coconutshell, sawdust, or fruit kernels. For the purpose of this study, the company will focus onmanufacturing activated carbon made from coconut shells which is seen as dominant in QuezonProvince, the company’s prospected plant site. Coconut shell-based activated carbons are the least dusty. Predominantly microporous,they are well-suited for organic chemical adsorption. Coconut shell-based carbon has the highesthardness compared to other types of activated carbons, which makes it the ideal carbon for waterpurification.2 In the early years, the use of Activated Carbon was already dominant. Adsorption orfiltration on porous carbons was described as early as 1550 B.C. in an ancient Egyptian papyrusand later by Hippocrates and Pliny the Elder, mainly for medicinal purposes. In the 18th century,carbons made from blood, wood and animals were used for the purification of liquids but theywere only available as powders.
  2. 2. Page |2 At the beginning of the 19th century the decolourisation power of bone char was detectedand used in the sugar industry in England which allowed the use of percolation technology,where the liquid to be treated was continuously passed through a column. Bone char, howeverwas only used for sugar purification. At the beginning of the 20th century the first processes were developed to produceactivated carbons with defined properties on an industrial scale. However, the steam activation(V. Ostreijko, 1900 and 1901) and chemical activation (Bayer, 1915) processes could onlyproduce powder activated carbon. During then, powder activated carbon was only known for theproduction of gas masks used in the First World War.4 Today, activated carbon is already used in various areas such as in air treatment, watertreatment, manufacture of foods and beverages, pharmaceutics, and many more. By this changethey are following the modern tendency towards recycling and waste minimisation, therebyreducing the use of the worlds resources. Table 1.1 Demand of Activated Carbon Source: The demand in activated carbon is increasing through time as to more and more sectors discover the wonders and benefits of active carbon. Recently, cosmetic companies ventured to it. As water becomes increasinglyneeded to satisfy life, the purification of water rapidly grows as well as the purification of foods.Apparently, the supplies do not match the demand. More and more businesses be it large or notuse it but there are only few manufacturers of activated carbon. In Quezon province where there are large number of coconut shells and woods, no onemanufactures activated carbon. As a result, small businesses pay more cost on shipping and
  3. 3. Page |3handling for they still have to order in Manila, Cebu, Central Luzon and even abroad just to havea supply which is a real burden. But still, the supply is not enough to cater all and it leads tocircumstances such that end user industries have to depend partially on imports and partially onlowering their consumption.II. Objectives of the Study The main objective of this study is to know the feasibility of manufacturing ActivatedCarbon in Quezon Province. In line with this, this study aims to: a. know the profitability and marketability of manufacturing Activated Carbon in Quezon Province; b. identify the possible problems and opportunities in venturing in this kind of industry; c. determine the competitiveness of the company from its competitors, whether direct or indirect competitors and; d. find out the economic practicability of operating this business in Quezon Province.III. The Company A. Company Profile The company is directed to be established as one of the top activated carbon manufacturers in the country. The company shall be called “Carbon Plus Corporation” for practical reasons such that, this corporation is all about carbon and adding chemicals to it to level up the value of the simple carbon. When carbon is mixed with chemicals to make it active, it will not be another element thus, it will always, and still be a carbon, the only difference is that, other chemicals were added to it.
  4. 4. Page |4 Carbon Plus Corporation is a stock corporation and will have its own plant andmain office at Brgy. Bocohan, Domoit, Lucena City, Quezon. The location will perfectlysuit the nature of the corporation, which is to make coconut shell-based carbons and sinceQuezon is one of the top coconut producing region, raw materials are readily availableand accessible at the same time. Carbon Plus Corporation saw the felt need on purification these days as our worldbecomes more polluted. Everything must be sanitized first before it gets to the final usersof the product. Before coming up with the final good, other manufacturers and producerssanitize first their product offerings making sanitation processes in demand. And CarbonPlus Corporation aims to help these manufacturers, small or big, meet their productstandards at the same time lower their production cost. Carbon Plus Corporation also saw the great difference in demand and supply.There is a very great demand on activated carbon as it caters to almost all industries, butsuch low and lacking supply. There are only a number of manufacturers of activatedcarbon in the Philippines and they offer in great bulks. Some others are just distributors.Businesses and other industries who needs activated carbon in their operation generally,commit a large transportation cost for they have to order in far places. The Carbon PlusCorporation found it odd especially for those within and near Quezon, where there is anabundant amount of charcoal. In making a plant in Quezon, there is a certainty that wecan offer the product in a much lower price. Other businesses on the other hand, having no choice as to buying big bulks ofactivated carbon, suffer great cost discharges such as maintenance cost which is a realburden. If we manage to offer them products in small quantities, they can effectivelycontrol their order cost and can efficiently manage their production processes.
  5. 5. Page |5 Carbon Plus Corporation aims to help not only big corporations but also thoselittle entrepreneurs who can only afford to buy in small quantity. The company aims togrant businesses with much effective and efficient production generating customersatisfaction.B. Logo of the company Fig. 1.1 Company Logo The color of the words “CARBON PLUS CORPORATION” is inspired by thecolor of activated carbon itself, which varies within the shades of black and gray, whilethe six circles at the side represent the atomic number of the element carbon, six. Activated carbon works with the idea “black attracts black”, the circles startedfrom a dark toned one, which represents a substance with impurities. With the aid of theinsertion of Carbon Plus product, the shade of each circle lightens, until it reached a clearone, representing the process of adsorption of the residues, dirt and other impurities of thesubstance, which specifically, is the main function of activated carbon.C. Vision Carbon Plus Corporation is an integrated manufacturing entity providingsufficient supply of high quality activated carbon and relevant services to respond to thegrowing demands of the public while minimizing the cost of the product to make it moreaffordable to the users. Equipped with dedication to be on the top of the industry tofurther enhance the quality of purifications of our generation and generations to come,
  6. 6. Page |6providing more job opportunities, a better industry and for the satisfaction of thecustomers.D. Mission Statement a. Enthusiastically ensure the success of our company by effectively satisfying the needs of our customer, shareholders and employees. b. Consistently manufacture reliable and high- quality products and related services. c. Interdependently accelerate competence of our company through intensive development, quick response to modernization and cooperation with the society. d. Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities. e. Maximize long-term return to shareowners while being aware of our overall responsibilities; environmental, governmental and overall welfare. f. Minimizing costs and offering variety of products.E. Opportunities and Advantages Being the first manufacturer of Activated carbon here in Quezon, provides thecompany the assurance of no direct competition as the users would prefer availingproducts minimizing the cost of transportation and handling. In addition, Quezon isknown for abundance in coconut supply which gives the company a great advantage insupply, as it is sufficient and readily available in the region. Compared to other rawmaterials used, Coconut is the most renewable at the quickest time possible, making it
  7. 7. Page |7 possible to have enough supply to ensure continuous production. Furthermore, activated carbon from coconut shells is more reliable compared to other sources. According to Grimwood,”Shell carbons are generally dense, very hard and highly retentive. They have a very fine pore structure and their rate of adsorption is generally faster than that of coal carbons.”5IV. The Product Carbon is one of the most abundant elementsin the world. With this, Carbon Plus Corporationmaximized the potentials of this element by turning itinto something very useful. Activated Carbon (AC) is a crystallinesubstance which has the ability to adsorb or purifysubstances. It undergo through the activation processwhether thermal or chemical. Hydrocarbons areremoved from the carbon material thus producing Fig 1.2 Activated carbon in water filtrationnetwork of tunnels and pores which gives the ability of adsorption. The adsorption process of Activated Carbon goes through three basic steps. First, thesubstance is adsorb on the outside surface of the carbon. Then it goes into the carbon adsorptionpore with the highest adsorption energy. Lastly, the substance is then adsorb into the innerplatelets of the carbon. The two mechanisms wherein the chemicals are adsorbed onto theactivated carbon are either it hates the water or it attracts into the activated carbon.
  8. 8. Page |8 Activated Carbon is produced from a wide variety of carbon-rich materials like coconutshell, peat, wood, fruit kernels, or sawdust. The best material to be used is the coconut shell forit has the following inherent qualities which give them the edge among other sources: a. High hardness levels (> 97%): Ensures superior material handling and minimizes dust generation. b. High surface area (up to 1500 m2/g): Gives high adsorption efficiency c. High microporosity (< 20 Angstroms): Gives high adsorption and retention capacity. This is important for the removal of low-molecular weight organics and trace levels of contaminants. d. Low ash content: Gives high purity preventing contamination of adsorbates. e. High density Provides for economical containment for the same level of filtration. Source: Green Carbon Inc. Common Uses of Activated Carbon Air Treatment Water treatment Food and Beverage Odor Control Drinking Water Sugar Decolour VOC Adsorption waste water Fruit Juice Solvent Recovery Process Water Bottled Water Flue Gas Remediation MSG Air Condition Swimming Pool Edible Oil Inorganic Abate Aquariums PSA Auto Emission Cigarette Filter Table 1.2 Common Uses of Activated Carbon Source:
  9. 9. Page |9 Summarized Uses of Activated CarbonStates Purpose Applications ExamplesGas Phase Recovery Gasoline Vapor Gasoline Fuel recovery,ELCD Recovery Solvent Recovery MEK, Cyclohexanone, CS2, Furon, Trichloroethane Odor Removal Room Order Removal Tobacco, CO, Room filters, Toilet Odor, Pet Odor Refrigerator Deodorizer Automobile Cabin air filters Tobacco Cigarette Filter Hospital Anesthetic gas removal Ozone Removal Copiers, Laser Printers Harmful Gas Closed Environment Dioxin removal,Space Ships, Underground CO2 Gas Separation Nitrogen PSA Nitrogen Gas Separation Other PSA Radio Active GasLiquid Water Treatment Factory Waste Water Cleaning Waste WaterPhase Drinking Water Trihalomethane, Chlorine, Treatment VOCs, Lead, Arsenate removal Decolorization of Industrial Use Sugar refinement, Pharmaceutical Indusrial use, Whisky distilment Chemicals Medical Medical and Nursing Kidney machine, Nursing supplies, Applications Respirators Electronics Eletrorodes Double Layer Capacitors, Hardisks Mineral Recovery Gold Recovery Gold Recovery Table 1.3 Summarized Uses of Activated Carbon Source:
  10. 10. P a g e | 10V. Business Offerings Carbon Plus Corp. offers the market with Activated Carbon made from coconut shells. Itprovides consumers different types of Activated Carbon. Below is the list of activated carbonsoffered by the company and its corresponding description and uses.Type Description UsesPowdered This type of activated carbon These are used as water is usually used for liquid treatment, decolorization of phase adsorption. They are industrial chemicals, put into liquids to be purified medicinal applications, and then removed in the electronics and mineral process of sedimentation and recovery. filtration.Granular These are irregularly shaped These are used for Activated Carbons. These are deodorization, air purification, preferably used for absorption water treatment and separation of gases and vapors because of components of flow system. their rate of diffusion is faster.Pelletized These are cylindrical shaped These are mainly used for gas Activated Carbons. They phase applications such as air have low pressure drop, high purifications, solvent vapour mechanical strength and low recovery, clarification of dust content. industrial gas, gas masks and cigarette filters. Table 1.4 Business OffeingsReferences:1 http://www.wikipedia.com2 http://www.watertechonline.com3 http://www.bambootech.org4 http://www.chemvironcarbon.com5 Coconut Palm Products: Their Processing in Developing Countries by Brian E. Grimwood, Ashman, F., Jarman,C.G., Dendy, D.A.V