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Diffusion barriers in the kinetics of water vapor adsorption/desorption on activated carbons

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Mark ThomasORCiD


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The adsorption of water vapor on a highly microporous coconut-shell-derived carbon and a mesoporous wood-derived carbon was studied. These carbons were chosen as they had markedly different porous structures. The adsorption and desorption characteristics of water vapor on the activated carbons were investigated over the relative pressure range p/p° = 0-0.9 for temperatures in the range 285-313 K in a static water vapor system. The adsorption isotherms were analyzed using the Dubinin - Serpinski equation, and this provided an assessment of the polarity of the carbons. The kinetics of water vapor adsorption and desorption were studied with different amounts of preadsorbed water for set changes in pressure relative to the saturated vapor pressure (p/p°). The adsorption kinetics for each relative pressure step were compared and used to calculate the activation energies for the vapor pressure increments. The kinetic results are discussed in relation to their relative position on the equilibrium isotherm and the adsorption mechanism of water vapor on activated carbons.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Harding AW, Foley NJ, Norman PR, Francis DC, Thomas KM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Langmuir

Year: 1998

Volume: 14

Issue: 14

Pages: 3858-3864

Print publication date: 18/06/1998

ISSN (print): 0743-7463

ISSN (electronic): 1520-5827

Publisher: American Chemical Society


DOI: 10.1021/la971317o


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