Heat and Mass Transfer

, Volume 55, Issue 8, pp 2165–2171 | Cite as

Mass transfer determination of ethanol adsorption on activated carbon: kinetic adsorption modeling

  • Meysam Hajilari
  • Ahmad ShariatiEmail author
  • Mohammadreza Khosravi-Nikou


In present work, the batch kinetic adsorption of ethanol on a commercial activated carbon was experimentally investigated and mathematically modeled in order to estimate effective diffusion and average film mass transfer coefficients. The effects of adsorbent loading, ethanol initial concentration and adsorbent particle size were studied. Two kinetic models were fitted to the experimental data. The results showed that the adsorption of ethanol on activated carbon is controlled by pore diffusion resistances. In addition, results showed that with increasing the initial concentration of ethanol in the bulk phase, the effective diffusion mass transfer slightly increased. Increasing the particle size and adsorbent loading slightly decreased the effective diffusion mass transfer. The average film mass transfer coefficient was increased by increasing initial ethanol concentration and decreased by increasing particle size and adsorbent loading. The estimated effective diffusion mass transfer coefficient was in the range of 2.47-3.17 × 10−10 m2/s and average film mass transfer coefficient was in the range of 2.11-2.44 × 10−6 1/s for different experimental conditions.



Total external surface area of all adsorbent particles (m2/g)


Intraparticle diffusion constant related to the boundary layer thickness (g/g)


Initial concentration of ethanol added to the vessel (kg/m3)


Solute bulk concentration (kg/m3)

\( {C}_i^{cal} \)

Estimated concentration from the model (kg/m3)

\( {C}_i^{\mathrm{exp}} \)

Experimental concentration (kg/m3)

CP|r = Rp

Solute concentration at the surface of the adsorbent (kg/m3)


Ethanol concentration in time t (kg/m3)


Effective diffusivity that incorporated pore and surface diffusion (m2/s)


Rate of mass transfer into the particles


Langmuir isotherm constant (m3/kg)


Average film mass transfer (m/s)


Intraparticle diffusion rate constant (g g−1 min−0.5)


Mass of activated carbon adsorbent added to the vessel (g)


Volume of the initial solution (m3)


Number of experimental data points


Rate of adsorption that takes place on the adsorbent (g/g)


Langmuir isotherm constant (g/g)


Amount of solute adsorbed at time t (g/g)


Radial direction (m)


Particle radius (m)


Time (s)


Volume of the vessel (m3)

Greek symbols


Is the exterior particles surface area per volume of pellet (m2 external area/m3 particles)


Adsorbent density (kg/m3)


Bed porosity



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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gas Engineering Department, Ahwaz Faculty of PetroleumPetroleum University of TechnologyAhwazIran

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