Adsorption characteristics of volatile organic compounds onto lyocell-based activated carbon fibers

  • Sang Sun Choi
  • Joon Hyuk Lee
  • Young Min Jin
  • Soon Hong LeeEmail author
Original Article


Fibrous adsorbents, such as activated carbon fibers (ACF) have acknowledged advantages of rapid adsorption rate and ease of modification compared with granular and powdered adsorbents. Based on the surface modification of lyocell-based ACF, we observed different surface characteristics of ACF samples with variation in the mixing ratio and impregnation time of H3PO4, NaCl, and KMnO4 solution. For an engineering application, we also explored the adsorption characteristics of thus-produced ACF samples onto volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Isothermal adsorption experiments were performed using toluene and benzene as adsorbates. Results indicate that both physical and chemical surface properties have an effect on the adsorption of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).


Adsorption Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) Activated carbon fiber (ACF) Surface properties Porosity 



There are no specific funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

There are no specific conflicts of interest.


  1. 1.
    Andrews SJ, Hackenberg SC, Carpenter LJ (2015) A fully automated purge and trap GC–MS system for quantification of volatile organic compound (VOC) fluxes between the ocean and atmosphere. Ocean Sci 11(2):313–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Choi YY et al (2019) The impact of corrosion on marine vapour recovery systems by VOC generated from ships. Int J Nav Architect Ocean Eng 11(1):52–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Yang C et al (2018) Simultaneous removal of multicomponent VOCs in biofilters. Trends Biotechnol 36(7):673–685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ahlberg E et al (2017) Secondary organic aerosol from VOC mixtures in an oxidation flow reactor. Atmos Environ 161:210–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Tang X et al (2009) Formaldehyde in China: production, consumption, exposure levels, and health effects. Environ Int 35(8):1210–1224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Xu T, Hong Z, Pengyi Z (2018) Performance of an innovative VUV-PCO purifier with nanoporous TiO2 film for simultaneous elimination of VOCs and by-product ozone in indoor air. Build Environ 142:379–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Boycheva S et al (2019) Studies on non-modified and copper-modified coal ash zeolites as heterogeneous catalysts for VOCs oxidation. J Hazard Mater 361:374–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chen J et al (2018) Homogeneous introduction of CeOy into MnOx-based catalyst for oxidation of aromatic VOCs. Appl Catal B Environ 224:825–835CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Luengas A et al (2015) A review of indoor air treatment technologies. Rev Environ Sci Biotechnol 14(3):499–522CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Zhang X et al (2017) Adsorption of VOCs onto engineered carbon materials: a review. J Hazard Mater 338:102–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Le Cloirec P (2012) Adsorption onto activated carbon fiber cloth and electrothermal desorption of volatile organic compound (VOCs): a specific review. Chin J Chem Eng 20(3):461–468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Oh GY, Ju YW, Jung HR, Lee WJ (2008) Preparation of the novel manganese-embedded PAN-based activated carbon nanofibers by electrospinning and their toluene adsorption. J Anal Appl Pyrolysis 81(2):211–217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Liu ZS, Chen JY, Peng YH (2013) Activated carbon fibers impregnated with Pd and Pt catalysts for toluene removal. J Hazard Mater 256:49–55Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tan IAW, Hameed BH, Ahmad AL (2007) Equilibrium and kinetic studies on basic dye adsorption by oil palm fibre activated carbon. Chem Eng J 127(1–3):111–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Tsai JH, Chiang HM, Huang GY, Chiang HL (2008) Adsorption characteristics of acetone, chloroform and acetonitrile on sludge-derived adsorbent, commercial granular activated carbon and activated carbon fibers. J Hazard Mater 154(1–3):1183–1191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Yang S, Zhu Z, Wei F, Yang X (2017) Enhancement of formaldehyde removal by activated carbon fiber via in situ growth of carbon nanotubes. Build Environ 126:27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hu Z, Vansant EF (1995) Synthesis and characterization of a controlled-micropore-size carbonaceous adsorbent produced from walnut shell. Microporous Mater 3(6):603–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Tomków K et al (1977) Formation of porous structures in activated brown-coal chars using O2, CO2 and H2O as activating agents. Fuel 56(2):121–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Choi B et al (2017) Adsorption characteristics of heavy metals ions by physical activation on coal tar pitch-based activated carbon fibers. Carbon Lett 22:96–100Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bai BC et al (2015) Effects of surface chemical properties of activated carbon fibers modified by liquid oxidation for CO2 adsorption. Appl Surf Sci 353:158–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Shamsuddin MS, Yusoff NRN, Sulaiman MA (2016) Synthesis and characterization of activated carbon produced from kenaf core fiber using H3PO4 activation. Proc Chem 19:558–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Girgis BS, El-Hendawy AA (2002) Porosity development in activated carbons obtained from date pits under chemical activation with phosphoric acid. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 52(2):105–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Baur GB, Igor Y, Lioubov KM (2015) Activated carbon fibers modified by metal oxide as effective structured adsorbents for acetaldehyde. Catal Today 249:252–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Zhang LL, Zhao XS (2009) Carbon-based materials as supercapacitor electrodes. Chem Soc Rev 38(9):2520–2531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rodriguez-Reinoso F et al (1986) Hydrogenation of CO on carbon-supported iron catalysts prepared from iron penta-carbonyl. Appl Catal 21(2):251–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Xu S, Qi J (2018) Surface modification of carbon fiber support by ferrous oxalate for biofilm wastewater treatment system. J Clean Prod 194:416–424CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Jeon Y et al (2016) Enhancement of catalytic durability through nitrogen-doping treatment on the CNF-derivatized ACF support for high temperature PEMFC. Int J Hydrog Energy 41(16):6864–6876CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lopez-Ramon MV et al (1999) On the characterization of acidic and basic surface sites on carbons by various techniques. Carbon 37(8):1215–1221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Terzyk AP (2001) The influence of activated carbon surface chemical composition on the adsorption of acetaminophen (paracetamol) in vitro: Part II. TG, FTIR, and XPS analysis of carbons and the temperature dependence of adsorption kinetics at the neutral pH. Colloids Surf A Physicochem Eng Asp 177(1):23–45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Swiatkowski A et al (2004) Influence of the surface chemistry of modified activated carbon on its electrochemical behaviour in the presence of lead (II) ions. Carbon 42(15):3057–3069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Yin CY, Aroua MK, Daud WM (2007) Review of modifications of activated carbon for enhancing contaminant uptakes from aqueous solutions. Sep Purif Technol 52(3):403–415CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Díez N et al (2015) N-enriched ACF from coal-based pitch blended with urea-based resin for CO2 capture. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 201:10–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Frysz CA, Chung DDL (1997) Improving the electrochemical behavior of carbon black and carbon filaments by oxidation. Carbon 35(8):1111–1127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Silva TL et al (2018) Mesoporous activated carbon fibers synthesized from denim fabric waste: efficient adsorbents for removal of textile dye from aqueous solutions. J Clean Prod 171:482–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Prajapati YN et al (2016) Aqueous phase adsorption of different sized molecules on activated carbon fibers: effect of textural properties. Chemosphere 155:62–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Zhang X et al (2017) Adsorption of VOCs onto engineered carbon materials: a review. J Hazard Mater 338:102–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Al-Asheh S et al (2000) Predictions of binary sorption isotherms for the sorption of heavy metals by pine bark using single isotherm data. Chemosphere 41(5):659–665CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Duan X et al (2017) Synthesis of activated carbon fibers from cotton by microwave induced H3PO4 activation. J Taiwan Inst Chem Eng 70:374–381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Houshmand A, Daud WM, Shafeeyan MS (2011) Exploring potential methods for anchoring amine groups on the surface of activated carbon for CO2 adsorption. Sep Sci Technol 46(7):1098–1112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Mahmoudian M et al (2017) Investigation of Salt and precipitating agent effect on the specific surface area and compressive strength of alumina catalyst support. Polish J Chem Technol 19(3):35–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Korean Carbon Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental EngineeringAnyang UniversityAnyangSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Chemical EngineeringHanyang UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations