Porous carbon nitrification process optimization for enhanced benzene adsorption

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Benzene is one of the aromatic hydrocarbons co-absorbed with acid gases during amine scrubbing that contribute to deactivation of catalyst in the Claus process. The present work attempts to modify the porous carbon surface through nitrogen group functionalization utilizing melamine as the nitrogen source, adopting Design of Experiments (DOE) with concentration of melamine, duration of impregnation and temperature of impregnation being the process variables, while BET surface area was the response variable. The surface modified samples were subjected to benzene adsorption. The optimal nitrogen content that had minimal pore damage was found to be less than 4.3%, with concentration of melamine being the most significant variable. Surface nitrogen functionalization reduced the surface area whereas the benzene adsorption capacity increased. Benzene adsorption capacity as high as 14.72 mmol/g was recorded at 45°C at a pressure of 235 mbar. Such high adsorption capacities have not been reported in open literature and the nitrogen functionalization augmented the adsorption to the tune of 20 to 30% at a pressure of 100 mbar, and only up to 10 to 15% at higher pressures. The adsorption isotherms as well as the kinetics of adsorption were modelled using the well-known popular models. Further, successful regeneration of the surface modified adsorbents were ensured through adsorption/desorption cycle experiments.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalFullerenes Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2018


  • activated carbon
  • adsorption
  • Benzene
  • kinetics
  • surface modification


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