Activated carbon fiber cloth electrothermal swing adsorption system

Patrick D. Sullivan, Mark J. Rood, Georges Grevillot, Joseph D. Wander, K. James Hay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Capture and recovery of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from gas streams using physical adsorption onto activated carbon fiber cloth (ACFC) is demonstrated on the bench-scale. This system is regenerated electrothermally, by passing an electric current directly through the ACFC. The adsorbate desorbs from the ACFC, rapidly condenses on the inside walls of the adsorber, and then drains from the adsorber as a pure liquid. Rapid electrothermal desorption exhibits such unique characteristics as extremely low purge gas flow rate, rapid rate of ACFC heating, rapid mass transfer kinetics inherent to ACFC, and in-vessel condensation. An existing system was scaled up 500%, and the new system was modeled using material and energy balances. Adsorption isotherms using methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and ACFC were obtained while electricity passed through the ACFC and at temperatures above MEK's boiling point. These isotherms agreed within 7% to Dubinin-Radushkevich modeled isotherms that were extrapolated from independently determined gravimetric measurements obtained at lower temperatures. Energy and material balances for the electrothermal desorption of organic vapors and ACFC agree to within 7% of experimentally measured values. These results allow the modeling of electrothermal desorption of organic vapors from gas streams with in-vessel condensation to optimize operating conditions of the system during regeneration of the adsorbent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4865-4877
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 15 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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