Design of sulfur treated activated carbon fibers for gas phase elemental mercury removal

Fuel, Volume 116, 15 January 2014, Pages 560-565.

Yaxuan Yao, Vedagiri Velpari, James Economy.


Department of Material Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1304 W Green St, Urbana, IL 61801, USA and

Glass Technology Center, PPG Industries, Inc., 400 Guys Run Road, Cheswick, PA 15024, USA.




Several methods have been used to introduce sulfur containing groups in glass fiber supported activated carbon fibers (ACFs). The chemical and physical properties of these sulfur treated ACFs have been evaluated to determine their mercury adsorption capacities. Although sulfur impregnations decreased surface area and pore volume of ACFs, Hg uptake capacities increased when compared to raw ACF samples. For our sulfur-treated samples, sulfur atoms were incorporated into the carbon matrix in the form of sulfide and sulfate. The sulfide groups appeared to be more effective for mercury removal than sulfate. A possible mechanism for mercury adsorption, which is likely to involve the oxidation process of Hg°, is also discussed. Besides the effects of chemical structure on mercury adsorption, the effects of pore properties associated with adsorbents have also been studied.


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