Adsorption Equilibrium of Carbon Tetrachloride on Dry Soils

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Chemical Engineering Communications


Vapor phase adsorption equilibrium of carbon tetrachloride, a priority pollutant, on dry soils was studied at 288, 293, and 298 K. Using a gravimetric adsorption apparatus, adsorption /desorption isotherms of carbon tetrachloride were generated on two different soil samples. The effects of temperature and soil characteristics were examined. Isosteric heats of adsorption were calculated and heat curves were constructed. Adsorption isotherms of carbon tetrachloride on dry soil samples were Type II, indicating formation of multilayers of adsorbate on the soil particle surface. Considerable hysteresis effects, associated with capillary condensation, were observed upon desorption. Thermal data confirmed that the adsorption of carbon tetrachloride vapor on soil was primarily physical adsorption. Heat curves showed that the soil samples had energetically heterogeneous surfaces. A positive correlation between the soil's specific surface area and its sorption capacity was observed. Clay content and pore size were also dominating factors. The experimental data were correlated by the Polanyi Potential, the BET, and the GAB models in order to provide input to fate and transport models predicting the degradation or movement of volatile organic pollutants in soil. The BET equation gave accurate data fit, within a deviation range of 2.63-5.40%, for up to 40% of the saturation pressure. The GAB equation provided superior fit of the data for the entire relative pressure range. Absolute error percentages from the GAB model ranged from 1.77 to 5.38%. Results followed the Potential Theory satisfactorily and led to a single temperature-independent characteristic curve.