requirement of any adsorption separation is that the adsorbent material should have high capacityfor removal and ease of regeneration. As far as carbon dioxide removal is concerned, this has been a major impediment for application at a commercial level. Song et al. (1998) and Yong et al.(2001) have reported some studies on modified and unmodified carbons and have found thatalthough carbon adsorbents have good capacity for CO
at low pressures and low temperatures,the capacity decreases with increase in temperature. They have also suggested that chemicalmodification of carbons can enhance the capacity especially at high temperatures. In view of this,the objective of this work is to evaluate the adsorption/desorption behaviour of variousadsorbents, both modified and unmodified and to study effect of various parameters of adsorption/ desorption characteristics. The Temperature Programmed Desorption (TPD) studiesof this work can provide more insight into the sorption behaviour on the various surfaces andnature of surface interactions. This is expected to further enhance our knowledgebase for suitablymodifying adsorbent surfaces and thereby in developing tailor made adsorbents.
Two different adsorbents were used in this work from activated charcoal family. The unmodifiedactivated charcoal was procured from Fluka U.S.A., while the other activated charcoal, acidwashed with phosphoric acid and sulfuric acid was procured from Sigma, U. S. A.. Both thesamples were in powder form and were used without any further treatment/modification. For studying the effect of activation temperature, activation of the samples was done in situ beforeadsorption experiment under constant Helium flow. The activation time was 10 h. After theactivation, the sample was allowed to cool down to room temperature under He flow and thenadsorption of CO
was studied.Carbon dioxide adsorption was characterized by temperature programmed desorptionexperiments (TPD). 20 to 30 mg of sample was placed in a quartz tube. After degassing thesample, activation was carried out using the procedure described above. The adsorption of carbondioxide was carried out at room temperature of 30
C for 4 h. The adsorbent bed was then flushedwith helium for about 30 min. The TPD tests were then carried out by heating the sample at 10
C/min up to 500
C with constant helium flowing through the tube and desorbed carbon dioxidewas analyzed using CO
detector. The activation temperature effect was studied in the range 100
C to 400
C and adsorption without activation was also compared. All the gases used in the study(Helium and carbon dioxide) were extra pure above 99.99 % purity.
Characterization of adsorbents
The specific surface area, pore size distribution and pore volume were determined on the basis of nitrogen adsorption using Quantachrome Autosorb-1 Instrument (Quantachrome Inc., USA). X-ray diffraction patterns of the samples were recorded in XPERT-PRO X-ray Diffractometer fromPANalytical Instruments using CuK
radiation. The IR spectra of the samples were taken indiffused reflectance mode in Thermo Nicolet FTIR spectrophotometer.
Results and Discussion
Carbon based adsorbents generally have good capacity for adsorption of carbon dioxide,especially at ambient temperatures and low pressures (Yong et al. 2001, 2002). The adsorptioncapacity decreases with increase in the temperature. However, the adsorption capacity at higher temperatures can be greatly increased by suitable chemical modification. This is mainly becauseof the fact that CO
is slightly acidic gas and therefore is likely to have more, stronger adsorption