A great number of pollution problems come as a result of the emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into the environment and their control becomes a serious challenge for the global chemical industry. Adsorption is a widely used technique for the removal of VOCs due to its high efficiency, low cost, and convenient operation. In this study, the feasibility to use a locally available clay, as adsorbent material to control VOCs emissions is evaluated.
Natural clay is characterised by different physical-chemical methods and adsorptive interaction features between VOCs and natural clay are identified. Toluene (T), methanol (M) and benzaldehyde (B) are used here as representatives of three different kinds of VOCs. Adsorption isotherms onto natural clay and faujasite-Y type zeolite (Fau Y) are obtained at room temperature. According to Langmuir model data, maximum adsorption capacities (qm) of Fez natural clay and zeolite toward methanol (M), toluene (T) and benzaldehyde (B) at 300 K are 8, 0.89 and 3.1 mmol g-1, and 15, 1.91 and 13.9 mmol g-1 respectively.
In addition, the effect of temperature on the adsorption of toluene onto natural clay is evaluated in the range from 300 to 323K. An increase on temperature reduces the adsorption capacity of natural clay toward toluene, indicating that an exothermic physical adsorption process takes place. The enthalpy of adsorption of toluene onto Fez natural clay was found to be -54 kJ mol-1. A preliminary cost analysis shows that natural clay could be used as an alternative low cost adsorbent in the control of VOCs from contaminated gas streams with a cost of US$ 0.02 kg-1 compared to Fau Y zeolite with US$ 10 kg-1. © 2016, Slovensko Kemijsko Drustvo. All rights reserved.