Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.53, No.18, 3239-3249, 1998
Determination of pore size distributions by regularization and finite element collocation
The problem of extracting pore size distributions from characterization data is solved here with particular reference to adsorption. The technique developed is based on a finite element collocation discretization of the adsorption integral, with fitting of the isotherm data by least squares using regularization. A rapid and simple technique for ensuring non-negativity of the solutions is also developed which modifies the original solution having some negativity. The technique yields stable and converged solutions, and is implemented in a package RIDFEC. The package is demonstrated to be robust, yielding results which are less sensitive to experimental error than conventional methods, with fitting errors matching the known data error. It is shown that the choice of relative or absolute error norm in the least-squares analysis is best based on the kind of error in the data.