High-performance gas-phase adsorption of benzene and toluene on activated carbon: response surface optimization, reusability, equilibrium, kinetic, and competitive adsorption studies

Baytar O., Sahin Ö., Horoz S., Kutluay S.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, vol.27, no.21, pp.26191-26210, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 21
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-020-08848-4
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.26191-26210
  • Keywords: Activated carbon, Benzene, Central composite design, Gas adsorption, Response surface methodology, Toluene, Volatile organic compounds, VOLATILE ORGANIC-COMPOUNDS, CENTRAL COMPOSITE DESIGN, AQUEOUS-SOLUTION, VOC ADSORPTION, WATER-VAPOR, RHODAMINE-B, REMOVAL, METHODOLOGY, ADSORBENT, DYE
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


In recent years, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have become a group of major pollutants that endanger human health and the ecological environment. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the gas-phase adsorption processes of benzene and toluene, which are important VOCs, on the activated carbon (AC) produced from Elaeagnus angustifolia seeds by physical activation method. In this context, the central composite design (CCD) approach-based response surface methodology (RSM) was applied to examine and optimize the effects of process parameters on the adsorption of benzene and toluene by AC adsorbent. The characterization of the produced AC was performed by the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area, scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction analysis. The optimum process parameters were achieved (adsorption time of 74.98 min, initial benzene concentration of 16.68 ppm, and temperature of 26.97 degrees C, and adsorption time of 73.26 min, initial toluene concentration of 18.46 ppm and temperature of 29.80 degrees C) for benzene and toluene, respectively. The maximum adsorption capacities of benzene and toluene on AC were determined to be 437.36 and 512.03 mg/g, respectively, under optimum parameters. The adsorption process kinetics and equilibrium isotherms were also evaluated. Besides, AC reusability studies were performed five times for the gas-phase adsorption and desorption of benzene and toluene. After five cycles, it was observed that the benzene and toluene adsorption capacity of the AC decreased slightly by 8.10% and 7.42%, respectively. The results revealed that the produced AC could be utilized successfully for the removal of benzene and toluene in the gas-phase adsorption systems because of its high surface area, high adsorption capacity, and high reusability performance. Furthermore, the adsorption processes of benzene and toluene were investigated, both sole components and in a binary mixture. It was concluded that the adsorption behaviors of benzene and toluene against AC were quite different when they were in the competition (in a binary mixture) and without competition (sole components).