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Acetone adsorption capacity of sulfur-doped microporous activated carbons prepared from polythiophene

Zhu, Junchao, Chen, Ruofei, Zeng, Zheng, Su, Changqing, Zhou, Ke, Mo, Yamian, Guo, Yang, Zhou, Fan, Gao, Jie, Li, Liqing
Environmental science and pollution research international 2019 v.26 no.16 pp. 16166-16180
acetone, activated carbon, sulfur, energy, moieties, surface area, models, activation energy, porous media, molecular dynamics, sulfonic acids, oxidation, sorption isotherms, temperature, desorption, adsorption
Sulfur-doped activated carbons (SACs) with high sulfur content and large specific surface area were synthesized from polythiophene for acetone removal. The sulfur content of carbons (3.10–8.43 at.%) could be tunable by adjusting the activation temperature. The BET surface area and pore volume of the obtained samples were 916–2020 m² g⁻¹ and 0.678–1.100 cm³ g⁻¹, with a significant proportion of microporosity (up to 84% and 72% for BET surface area and pore volume, respectively). The resulting SACs show a superior acetone adsorption capacity (i.e., 716.4 mg g⁻¹ at 15 °C and 705 mg g⁻¹ at 25 °C for SAC700). In terms of the adsorption behavior of acetone on the activated carbons, compared to the Langmuir model, the Langmuir-Freundlich model showed better agreement with the adsorption amount. The results reveal that the surface area and micropore volume are the key factors for acetone adsorption, while the sulfur-doped functional groups, especially oxidized sulfur functional groups, can enhance the acetone adsorption capacity at a certain low pressure. Temperature programmed desorption (TPD) experiments were performed to get desorption activation energy of acetone on SAC samples, and the results ranged from 23.54 to 38.71 kJ mol⁻¹. The results of the molecular simulation show that the introduction of sulfur element can increase the binding energy between acetone molecule and carbon surface, and the tri-oxidized sulfur (sulfonic acid) functional group has the highest binding energy of − 0.4765 eV. Graphical abstract