Ammonia-tailoring of GAC to enhance perchlorate removal. I: Characterization of NH3 thermally tailored GACs

Weifang Chen, Fred S. Cannon, Jose R. Rangel-Mendez

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87 Scopus citations


A commercially available bituminous granular activated carbon (GAC) was subjected to thermal treatment with ammonia for 60 min at temperatures of 500-800°C. The effect of this treatment on the physical and chemical characteristics of carbon was studied in detail. Comparison of virgin and NH3-tailored carbons relative to pore volume distribution and argon-BET surface area indicated that ammonia acted as an activating agent under these conditions. Micropore volume increased with increasing treatment temperature up to 700°C; and then declined at 800°C. Elemental analysis results showed that nitrogen was incorporated into the carbon matrix during the thermal treatment as proven by an increase in N-content from 0.64% for virgin GAC up to 1.61-1.63% for all the tailored samples. The ammonia treatment caused an increase in positive surface charge density over a broad pH range; and this was reflected in a higher pHpzc and pHIEP. This was attributed to the more basic nature of the carbon surface after its treatment in ammonia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-580
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)

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