Competitive adsorption of a benzene-toluene mixture on activated carbons at low concentration

M.A. Lillo-Rodenas, A.J. Fletcher, K.M. Thomas, D. Cazorla-Amoros, A. Linares-Solano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies of the adsorption of benzene and toluene at low concentration showed that both porosity and surface chemistry of the activated carbon play an important role. This paper analyses the adsorption behaviour of a mixture of VOCs (benzene-toluene) on AC, due to the lack of information regarding the adsorption of mixtures. Thus, the performance of chemically activated carbons, physically activated carbon with steam and commercial samples is studied. This study shows that chemically activated carbons have better performance than the other samples, showing much higher adsorption capacities, breakthrough times and separation times. Porosity is a key factor and those activated carbons with higher volumes of micropores exhibit higher adsorption capacities and breakthrough times. This work also analyses the state of the adsorbed phase resulting from the mixture adsorption and comparison of the composition of the adsorbed hydrocarbons with that predicted by the ideal adsorption solution theory (IAST), shows good agreement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1455-1463
Number of pages8
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • activated carbon
  • activation
  • adsorption
  • mass spectroscopy
  • porosity


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