Coconut shell, a by-product of copra processing, is a good material for activated carbon/charcoal ( Fig. 1(519)). Activated charcoal (charcoal activated with CO2, water vapor, or chemical compounds) made of coconut shell has advantages compared to other materials (wood, rice husk, corn cob) because of its ability to absorb color or aroma. It is used as supporting material for food and non-food industries (processing of cooking oil, sugar, and chemical matter purification).

activated carbon photo

Photo by Solarbotics

Generally, coconut production at farmer level is

1 ton/ha, with coconut shell by-products of 0.9 ton, which in turn can yield 0.36 ton of activated charcoal. Price of activated charcoal is Rp 4,246,379.00/ton (US$440.00), income obtained is Rp 1,528,696.00 (US$158.00).

Processing of Activated Charcoal

Materials and Equipment

  • Coconut shell
  • Drum or burning sink ( Fig. 2(494))
  • Oven
  • Plastic pail
  • Crusher wood/iron
  • Draining tray
  • Distilled water
  • Sieve, 100 mesh


  • Separate and clean coconut shell from other materials, such as coconut fiber or soil.
  • Sun dry.
  • Burn dried coconut shell at burning sink or drum at 300-500 oC for 3-5 hours.
  • Soak charcoal in chemical solution (CaCl2 or ZnCl2 25%) for 12-18 hours to become activated charcoal.
  • Wash charcoal with distilled/clean water.
  • Spread on tray at room temperature to be drained.
  • Dry in oven at temperature 110 oC for 3 hours.
  • Crush or refine activated charcoal with crusher wood/iron into size of 100 mesh ( Fig. 3(531)).
  • Pack activated charcoal in plastic.

Quality Standard

Quality standard ( Table 1(497)) for activated charcoal determined by the Department of Industry, Indonesia with SII 0258-79 are as follows:

Index of Images

Figure 1 Coconut Shell

Figure 2 Drum or Burning Sink

Figure 3 Powdered Coconut Shell

Table 1 Quality Standard