Enhanced separation of Toluene and Xylene through surface modified porous carbon matrix

Baron Rubahamya, K. Suresh Kumar Reddy, Ahmed Al Shoaibi, C. Srinivasakannan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aromatics that are present in the feed of the Claus sulfur recovery process are well known to poison the catalyst and hence continued efforts are being made within the scientific community to remove them. In this context, the present work attempts to develop superior adsorbents in comparison with contemporary adsorbents for removal of toluene and m-xylene. In a bid to improve adsorption properties, nitrogen-containing surface functional groups were successfully introduced onto porous carbon by minimizing pore damage while maximizing nitrogen content. The surface modified adsorbents were subjected to gas phase adsorption of toluene and m-xylene at 45°C to generate the adsorption isotherms. Toluene adsorption capacity for the modified adsorbent was observed to have increased by approximately 30% at pressure of about 20 mbar and m-xylene by about 10% at about 22 mbar. Several orders of magnitude increase in adsorption capacity was observed for both aromatics at pressures less than 10 mbar. Such high adsorption capacity have not been reported in literature and could potentially favorably alter the economics of aromatics removal in gas processing. Regenerability of nitrogen doped adsorbent was ensured through cyclic adsorption/desorption tests. The adsorption isotherms as well as the kinetics of adsorption were modelled.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)205-209
Number of pages5
JournalFullerenes Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures
Issue number4
StatePublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • Adsorption capacity
  • Claus process
  • M-Xylene
  • Porous carbon
  • Surface modification
  • Toluene


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