Equilibria and Capacities for Adsorption on Carbon

by Walter J. Weber, Jr.,
J. Carrell Morris,

Serial Information: Journal of the Sanitary Engineering Division, 1964, Vol. 90, Issue 3, Pg. 79-108

Document Type: Journal Paper


Laboratory investigations show that the ultimate capacity of granular carbon for adsorption of biochemically-resistant organic substances from dilute solution after a sufficient period of contact is on the order of 15% to 25% by weight. Experimental adsorption isotherms for a number of organic substances indicate that adsorption equilibria for solutions of micromolar concentration are well-described by the Langmuir monolayer adsorption theory. Adsorption equilibria for solutions of high concentration appear to be best described by the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller multilayer theory. Interpretation of observed data leads to the conclusion that different types of adsorbed films are formed for high and low concentrations in solution at equilibrium with carbon; the data appear to reveal a range of activities for various parts of the surface area of the adsorbent. Ultimate capacities increase with decreasing temperature, decreasing pH, and decreasing particle size.

Subject Headings: Adsorption | Carbon fibers | Granular materials | Dilution | Equilibrium | Temperature effects | pH | Particle size distribution

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