Adsorption equilibria and kinetics of CO2, CH4, CO, N2, and H2 on KOH-treated activated carbon pellets up to 1000 kPa

Suk Hoon Hong, Kyounghee Chung, Gina Bang, Kyung Min Kim, Chang Ha Lee

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Activated carbon (AC) is critical for bulk separation to produce high-purity H2. Coal-based AC pellets (CAC) were modified through KOH activation (KACa) or impregnation (KACi) via bulk preparation. The adsorptive behaviors of CO2, CH4, CO, N2, and H2, which are components of various H2 mixtures, were investigated at 293.15–323.15 K and up to 1000 kPa. The experimental data and model parameters are tabulated for applications by related researchers. The experimental isotherms fitted well to the Sips and dual-site Langmuir models. The improved textural properties of KACa resulted in higher adsorption capacity based on the adsorbent mass. However, based on volume-based evaluation, KACi showed higher adsorption capacities for CO2, CO, and CH4 at low pressures, with capacities almost equivalent to those of KACa at high pressures, despite the deterioration of textural properties due to K impregnation. Furthermore, more favorable isotherms on KACi resulted in higher selectivities toward various H2 mixtures. From the non-isothermal kinetic model, CO2 and CH4 showed a lower adsorption rates than CO and N2 due to higher heats of adsorption. Compared to those of KACa, the adsorption rates of KACi were faster for CO2, CH4, and N2 and slower for CO, but within the same order of magnitude. KACa was found to be more affected by pre-adsorbed molecules than KACi. KACa and KACi exhibited enhanced performances with excellent cyclic stabilities and batch preparation consistencies. Considering its selectivity and adsorption rate, KACi can be used for improving the efficiencies of adsorptive processes for H2 production.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133396
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by Ministry of Science and ICT. (NRF-2020K1A4A7A02095371).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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