Removal of VOCs from humidified gas streams using activated carbon cloth

Mark P. Cal, Mark J. Rood, Susan M. Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research investigates the effects of relative humidity (RH) on the adsorption of soluble (acetone) and insoluble (benzene) volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with activated carbon cloths (ACC). A gravimetric balance was used in conjunction with a gas chromatograph/mass spectrophotometer to determine the individual amounts of water and VOC adsorbed on an ACC sample. RH values from 0 to 90% and organic concentrations from 350 to 1000 ppmv were examined. The presence of water vapor in the gas-stream along with acetone (350 and 500 ppmv) had little effect on the adsorption capacity of acetone even at 90% RH. Water vapor in the gas stream had little effect on the adsorption capacity of benzene (500 ppmv) until about 65% RH, when a rapid decrease resulted in the adsorption capacity of benzene with increasing RH. This RH was also about where capillary condensation of water vapor occurs within ACC pores. Water vapor condenses within the ACC pores, making them unavailable for benzene adsorption. Increasing benzene concentration can have a significant effect on the amount of water vapor adsorbed. At 86% RH and 500 ppmv, 284 mg/g water was adsorbed, while at 86% RH and 1000 ppmv, only 165 mg/g water was adsorbed. Water vapor was more inhibitory for benzene adsorption as benzene concentration in the gas stream decreased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalGas Separation and Purification
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • Activated carbon
  • Adsorption
  • Multicomponent adsorption
  • VOC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • General Engineering


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