Effect of thermal oxidation of activated carbon surface on its adsorption towards dibenzothiophene

Moxin Yu, Zhong Li, Qiaona Ji, Shuwen Wang, Dagen Su, Y. S. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The effect of thermal oxidation of activated carbon (AC) on adsorption capacity of dibenzothiophene (DBT) was investigated. ACs were treated in air by thermal oxidation at different temperature 473, 573 and 673 K and thus modified ACs, AC473, AC573 and AC673 were separately available. The oxygen functional groups on the surfaces of the ACs were determined separately by diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy and Boehm titration. The influence of the surface chemistry of the ACs on its adsorption towards DBT was discussed. The results showed that after the thermal oxidation of carbon surfaces, its total basicity decreased, while its total acidity increased. The higher the oxidation temperature was, the more the amounts of surface acidic oxygen-containing groups were, and thus the higher the amounts adsorbed of DBT on corresponding carbon were. For the original AC, AC473, AC573 and AC673, the breakthrough amount of the treat fuel with containing 320 mg S l-1 was 35.5, 45, 52.5 and 61 ml fuel g-1 A-1, respectively, corresponding to the breakthrough capacity of 11.4, 14.5, 16.8 and 19.5 mg of sulfur per gram of adsorbent (mg S g-1 A-1). The adsorption capacity of the AC473, AC573 and AC673 for DBT increased separately by 27.2%, 47.4% and 70.2% compared to the original AC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-247
Number of pages6
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - May 15 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Activated carbon
  • Desulfurization
  • Oxygen-containing groups
  • Thermal oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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