In this research, the optimum conditions for the synthesis of activated carbon from biodiesel wastes such as palm shells (PS) and Jatropha curcas fruit shells (JS) by chemical activation method using potassium hydroxide (KOH) as an activating agent under nitrogen atmosphere were investigated. The effects of soaking in hydrofluoric acid (HF), impregnation ratio, activation temperature and activation time on adsorption capacity of methylene blue (MB) and iodine (I2) solution were examined. The results showed that HF-treated activated carbons exhibited higher adsorption capacities by eliminating ash residues, which might fill up the pores. In addition, the adsorption capacities of methylene blue and iodine solution were also significantly influenced by the types of raw materials, the activation temperature and the activation time. The highest adsorption capacity of methylene blue 257.07mg/g and iodine 847.58mg/g were obtained from Jatropha curcas wastes.
Biopolymers have gained much attention as ecofriendly alternatives to petrochemical-based plastics because they are biodegradable and can be produced from renewable feedstocks. One class of biopolyester with many potential environmentally friendly applications is polylactic acid (PLA) and polycaprolactone (PCL). The PLA/PCL biodegradable copolyesters were synthesized by bulk ring-opening copolymerization of successively added Llactide (LL) and ε-caprolactone (CL) in the presence of toluene, using 1-hexanol as initiator and stannous octoate (Sn(Oct)2) as catalyst. Reaction temperature, reaction time and amount of catalyst were evaluated to obtain optimum reaction conditions. The results showed that the %conversion increased with increases in reaction temperature and reaction time, but after a critical amount of catalyst was reached the %conversion decreased. The yield of PLA/PCL biopolymer achieved 98.02% at the reaction temperature 160 °C, amount of catalyst 0.3 mol% and reaction time of 48 h. In addition, the thermal properties of the product were determined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA).