Structuring porous adsorbents and composites for gas separation and odor removal

University dissertation from Stockholm, Sweden : Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK), Stockholm University

Abstract: Porous zeolite, carbon and aluminophosphate powders have been colloidally assembled and post-processed in the form of monoliths, flexible free standing films and coatings for gas separation and odor removal. Zeolite 13X monoliths with macroporosites up to 50 vol% and a high CO2 uptake were prepared by colloidal processing and sacrificial templating. The durability of silicalite-I supports produced in a binder-free form by pulsed current processing (PCP) were compared with silicalite-I supports produced using clay-binders and conventional thermal treatment. Long-term acid and alkali treatment of the silicalite-I substrates resulted in removal of the clay binder and broadened the size-distribution of the interparticle macropores. Furthermore, strong discs of hydrothermally treated beer waste (HTC-BW) were produced by PCP and the discs were activated by physical activation in CO2 at high temperatures. The activated carbon discs showed high strength up to 7.2 MPa while containing large volume of porosities at all length scales. PCP was further used to structure aluminomphosphate powders (AlPO4-17 and AlPO4-53) into strong functional monoliths. The aluminophosphate monoliths had strengths of 1 MPa, high CO2 uptake and were easy to regenerate. Zeolite Y, silicalite and ZSM5 were selected as potential zeolite adsorbents for removal of sulfur containing compound, e.g. ethyl mercaptan (EM) and propyl mercaptan (PM). A novel processing procedure was used to fabricate free-standing films and coatings of cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) with a high content of nanoporous zeolite; 89 w/w% and 96 w/w%, respectively. Thin flexible free-standing films and coatings of zeolite-CNF on paperboards with thickness around 100 µm and 40 µm, respectively, were produced. Headspace solid phase microextraction (SPME) coupled to gas chromatography- mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) analysis showed that the zeolite-CNF films can efficiently remove considerable amount of odors below concentration levels that can be sensed by the human olfactory system.