Selective adsorption of tert-butylmercaptan and tetrahydrothiophene on modified activated carbons for fuel processing in fuel cell applications

Phuoc Hoang Ho, So Yun Lee, Doohwan Lee, Hee Chul Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effects of surface oxidation and KOH impregnation on activated carbon for the selective adsorption of tert-butylmercaptan (TBM) and tetrahydrothiophene (THT) present in natural fuel gas were studied. Physicochemical properties of the adsorbents were characterized by N2 adsorption, X-ray diffraction (XRD), temperature programmed desorption (TPD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and surface pH measurements. Oxidation treatments by HNO3 or H2O2 gave rise to considerable increases in both TBM and THT adsorption capacity, about a threefold enhancement from those on pristine activated carbon. Notably, it was found that the oxidative modifications led to an enhancement in THT adsorption selectivity, whereas KOH impregnation led to a marked increase in TBM adsorption selectivity. The properties of the adsorption sites and the adsorption strength of TBM and THT on the sites were characterized. These results agree well with the experimental sulfur adsorption capacities of the samples and can be explained by an adsorption model proposed in this work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6737-6745
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume39
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2014

Keywords

  • Activated carbon
  • Desulfurization
  • Fuel cell
  • Fuel processing
  • Tert-butylmercaptan
  • Tetrahydrothiophene

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