Journal of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology 84 (2009) 1736-1741.

DOI: 10.1002/jctb.2239


BACKGROUND: There exists now a widely held view that the methane storage capacity on an activated carbon is not related to any of the routinely determined properties of the adsorbent, such as surface area or micropore volume. This has been confirmed and a correlation pursued with other physical and/or chemical properties of both commercially available carbons and those prepared in the laboratory. Textural characteristics (from nitrogen adsorption isotherms at 77 K) considered were BET-equivalent specific surface area, DR micropore volume and Horvath–Kawazoe micropore size distribution. Chemical properties were evaluated using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, thermal programmed decomposition (TPD) and Boehm titrations. Both kinetic and equilibrium methane adsorption experiments were performed at 273 and 298 K and up to 3.5 MPa.

RESULTS: Using phosphoric acid to activate peach stones together with additional thermal treatment enabled the production of activated carbons with 137 v/v methane adsorption capacity at 298 K.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of acidic surface functional groups has a detrimental influence on methane uptake, due to the chemical inertness of the adsorbate and/or to pore blockage of the adsorbent. Basic surface functional groups (pyrone), together with a desirable pore size distribution centered at ca 0.8 nm, are thought to be responsible for improved methane adsorption capacity on such activated carbons.

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