Selective adsorption of nitrate esters with nanostructured carbons

Anna R. Merritt, Ramakrishnan Rajagopalan, Nirupam J. Trivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The ability of nanoporous carbon adsorbents to display size/shape selective adsorption behavior for energetic nitrate ester molecules was examined. Carbon adsorbents with variable pore size and pore volume were prepared from the pyrolysis of polymeric precursors. Liquid nitrate esters including triethylene glycol dinitrate (TEGDN), N-n-butyl-N-(2-nitroxyethyl)nitramine (BuNENA) and butanetriol trinitrate (BTTN) were then sorbed onto the carbon structure. The adsorbate loading and relative binding strength were observed using thermal techniques such as differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis. This study shows that careful control over the carbon structure can endow adsorbents with selectivity for energetic molecules with different size/shape characteristics; this observation could have important implications for the future development of advanced explosive sensing devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12298-12304
Number of pages7
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number32
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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