AIChE Journal, Vol.48, No.8, 1804-1810, 2002
Pore-size effects on activated-carbon capacities for volatile organic compound adsorption
Gas-phase adsorption of acetone and n-hexane by activated carbons with different pore structures was investigated. The carbons were prepared from a bituminous coal with KOH activation. Increasing the activation temperature increased both the porosity and pore size. The equilibrium adsorption capacity for the organic compounds increased with the carbon porosity, but not proportionally. The percentage of pore volume utilized showed a decreasing trend with the porosity development for acetone adsorption, while an increasing trend was observed for n-hexane. By incorporating pore size distribution with the Dubinin-Radushkevich equation using an inverse proportionality between the micropore size and adsorption energy, the isotherms for adsorption onto different carbons can be well predicted. Simulations indicated that the adsorption energy, which is an inverse function of the micropore size, determines the adsorption capacity. Different effects of porosity development were observed for different adsorbates.