Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.318, 425-432, 2016
Enhanced adsorption of benzene vapor on granular activated carbon under humid conditions due to shifts in hydrophobicity and total micropore volume
A series of hydrophobic-modified (polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) coating) activated carbons (ACs) were developed to answer a fundamental question: what are the determinants that dominate the adsorption on ACs under humid conditions? Using column experiments, an inter-comparison among bare-AC and PDMS-coated ACs was conducted regarding the association of surface characteristics and adsorption capacity. Primary outcomes occurred in two dominating markers, hydrophobicity and total micropore volume, which played a key role in water adsorption on ACs. However, their contributions to water adsorption on ACs substantially differed under different P-water/P-air conditions. Hydrophobicity was the only contributor in P-water/P-air =0.1-0.6, while the two markers contributed equally in P-water/P-air =0.7-1.0. Furthermore, PDMS-coated AC had a significant increase in benzene adsorption capacities compared to bare-AC at 0-90% relative humidity, while these differences were not significant among PDMS-coated ACs. It is thus presumed that the balance between the two markers can be shifted to favor almost unchanged benzene adsorption capacities among PDMS-coated ACs over a large range of relative humidity. These findings suggest potential benefits of PDMS coating onto ACs in enhancing selective adsorption of hydrophobic volatile organic compounds under high humid conditions. To develop new porous materials with both high total micropore volume and hydrophobicity should thus be considered. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Granular activated carbon;Adsorption capacity;PDMS coating;Surface hydrophobicity;Volatile organic compounds