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.
- activated carbon
- mass spectroscopy