Sci Rep. 2022 Nov 4;12(1):18698. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-21982-y.
The presence of metal with microwave irradiation has always invited controversial arguments as the metal will catch on fire easily. But interestingly, researchers found that arc discharge phenomena provide a promising way for molecule cracking to synthesize nanomaterials. This study developed a single-step yet affordable synthesis approach that combines microwave heating and arcing in transforming crude palm oil into magnetic nanocarbon (MNC), which can be considered a new alternative for the palm oil sectors. It involves synthesizing the medium at a partial inert condition with constant coiled stainless steel metal wire (dielectric media) and ferrocene (catalyst). This approach successfully demonstrates heating at a temperature ranging from 190.9 to 472.0 °C with different synthesis times (10-20 min). The produced MNC shows formations of spheres with average sizes of 20.38-31.04 nm, mesoporous structure (SBET: 14.83-151.95 m2/g), and high content of fixed carbon (52.79-71.24wt%), and the ratio of the D and G bands (ID/IG) is 0.98-0.99. The formation of new peaks in the FTIR spectra (522.29-588.48 cm-1) supports the appearance of the FeO compounds from the ferrocene. The magnetometer shows high magnetization saturation (22.32-26.84 emu/g) in ferromagnetic materials. The application of the MNC in wastewater treatment has been demonstrated by evaluating their adsorbent capability with Methylene Blue (MB) adsorption test at a different concentrations varying between 5 and 20 ppm. The MNC produced at synthesis time (20 min) shows the highest adsorption efficiency (10.36 mg/g) compared to others, with 87.79% removal of MB dye. As a result, the value for Langmuir is not promising compared to Freundlich, with R2 being around 0.80, 0.98, and 0.99 for MNC synthesized at 10 min (MNC10), 15 min (MNC15), and 20 min (MNC20), respectively. Hence, the adsorption system is in a heterogeneous condition. The microwave-assisted arcing thereby presents a promising approach to transforming CPO into MNC that could remove the hazardous dye.