Specific and non-specific interactions on non-porous carbon black surfaces

A. Andreu, H. F. Stoeckli, R. H. Bradley

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26 Citations (Scopus)


The interactions which occur between methanol, ethanol or propanol and the surfaces of non-porous carbon blacks with increasing levels of oxygen chemistry have been studied using adsorption isotherm analysis and immersion calorimetry. Surface oxygen has been controlled by ozone treatment and characterised using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, which gives a direct and quantitative measure of surface composition from first-principles, and has not yet been extensively employed in detailed carbon adsorption studies. Nitrogen adsorption at 77 K and heat of immersion -hi (mJ m-2) data for toluene, show that the physical structure of the carbon blacks is not modified by ozone treatment. A systematic shift to higher adsorption values, due to increasing specific hydrogen bonding interactions between the alcohol -OH groups and surface oxygen, is observed in all of the alcohol isotherms as the total oxygen content of the carbon surfaces ([O]T/at.%) increases. This effect is most significant for methanol confirming that the mechanism of adsorption is dominated by hydrogen bonding and therefore dependant on the surface concentration of oxygen sites. It is also observed for ethanol and propanol but is less marked due to the increasing non-specific, dispersion, interactions of the alkyl chain with the non-polar carbon surface. This description is in agreement with the data obtained for the specific enthalpies of immersion -hi (mJ m-2) into the alcohols and into water or toluene which allow a semi-quantitative assessment off the relative polar and dispersion contributions to the overall interactions as functions of both carbon surface oxygen composition and the molecular structure of the alcohols. An overall correlation is observed between adsorption behaviour, [O]T/at.%, the resulting -hi values and the characteristic energy E (kJ mol-1) of the DRK equation. It is also observed that the values of the affinity coefficient βDRK increase directly as a function of [O]T indicating that this latter parameter may provide a basis for predicting the adsorption isotherms of certain polar vapours on non-porous carbon surfaces. The effects of carbon surface chemistry on the character of adsorption isotherms, which change from Type III for the base N330 (and for a graphitized carbon black N234G) to Type II for the oxidised N330 materials, is discussed and the resulting effects on the surface area parameters SDRK and SBET (m2 g-1) are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1854-1864
Number of pages11
Issue number9
Early online date3 May 2007
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • carbon black
  • ozone treatment
  • carbon black surfaces

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