EPA Science Inventory

IMPORTANCE OF ACTIVATED CARBON'S OXYGEN SURFACE FUNCTIONAL GROUPS ON ELEMENTAL MERCURY ADSORPTION

Citation:

Li*, Y H., C W. Lee*, AND B K. Gullett*. IMPORTANCE OF ACTIVATED CARBON'S OXYGEN SURFACE FUNCTIONAL GROUPS ON ELEMENTAL MERCURY ADSORPTION. FUEL. Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 82(4):451-457, (2002).

Description:

The effect of varying physical and chemical properties of activated carbons on adsorption of elemental mercury [Hg(0)] was studied by treating two activated carbons to modify their surface functional groups and pore structures. Heat treatment (1200 K) in nitrogen (N2), air oxidation (693 K), and nitric acid (6 N HNO3) treatment of two activated carbons (BPL, WPL) were conducted to vary their surface oxygen functional groups. Adsorption experiments of Hg(0) by the activated carbons were conducted using a fixed-bed reactor at a temperature of 398 K and under N2 atmosphere. The pore structures of the samples were characterized by N2 and carbon dioxide (CO2) adsorption. Temperature-programmed desorption (TPD) and base-acid titration experiments were conducted to determine the chemical characteristics of the carbon samples. Characterization of the physical and chemical properties of activated carbons in relation to their Hg(0) adsorption capacity provides important mechanistic information on Hg(0) adsorption. Results suggest that oxygen surface complexes, possibly lactone and carbonyl groups, are the active sites for Hg(0) capture. The carbons which have a lower carbon monoxide (CO)/CO2 ratio and a low phenol group concentration tend to have a higher Hg(0) adsorption capacity, suggesting that phenol groups may inhibit Hg(0) adsorption. The high Hg(0) adsorption capacity of a carbon sample is also found to be associated with a low ratio of the phenol/carbonyl groups. A possible Hg(0) adsorption mechanism, which is likely to involve an electron transfer process during adsorption in which the carbon surfaces may act as an electrode for Hg(0) oxidation, is also discussed.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 01/10/2003
Completion Date: 01/10/2003
Record Last Revised: 12/22/2005
Record Created: 09/26/2003
Record Released: 09/26/2003
Record ID: 65545

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

AIR POLLUTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL DIVISION

AIR POLLUTION TECHNOLOGY BRANCH