Synthesis and application of Cu-BTC@ZSM-5 composites as effective adsorbents for removal of toluene gas under moist ambience: kinetics, thermodynamics, and mechanism studies.

Research paper by Meng M Li, Yuwei Y Li, Wei W Li, Fang F Liu, Xuejin X Qi, Ming M Xue, Yongqiang Y Wang, Chaocheng C Zhao

Indexed on: 24 Dec '19Published on: 23 Dec '19Published in: Environmental Science and Pollution Research


Metal organic frameworks (MOFs) are excellent adsorbents that provide abundant specific surface area, adjustable pore structure, and rich active sites. The purpose of this study was to prepare composites with hydrophobic and high microporous specific surface area and to adsorb toluene gas in moist ambience. An ethanol activation-assisted hydrothermal method was proposed to synthesize copper-benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxylic acid (Cu-BTC) metal-organic framework, Cu-BTC, and ZSM-5 molecular sieve composites (Cu-BTC@ZSM-5). The dynamic adsorption process of toluene on different adsorbents was investigated, and the results showed that the toluene adsorption capacity of Cu-BTC@ZSM-5 (158.6 mg/g) was 2.53 times higher than Cu-BTC (62.7 mg/g), when the ZSM-5 content is 5% and the humidity is 30%RH. Compared with other factors, the humidity inhibited the adsorption of toluene on Cu-BTC@ZSM-5. Langmuir model and the pseudo-second kinetics model can better describe the adsorption behavior of Cu-BTC@ZSM-5. The thermodynamic results showed the adsorption process was a spontaneous exothermic process at low temperature and mainly physical adsorption. The relative regenerability can still up to 80.4% after six cycles. The adsorption mechanisms of Cu-BTC@ZSM-5 were pore-filling adsorption, π-π interaction, cation-π bonding, and hydrophobic interactions. This study will help to design a systematic route to evaluate the adsorption performance of Cu-BTC@ZSM-5 for toluene.