Development of a cost-effective CO 2 adsorbent from petroleum coke via KOH activation

Eunji Jang, Seung Wan Choi, Seok Min Hong, Sangcheol Shin, Ki Bong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Citations (Scopus)


The capture of CO 2 via adsorption is considered an effective technology for decreasing global warming issues; hence, adsorbents for CO 2 capture have been actively developed. Taking into account cost-effectiveness and environmental concerns, the development of CO 2 adsorbents from waste materials is attracting considerable attention. In this study, petroleum coke (PC), which is the carbon residue remaining after heavy oil upgrading, was used to produce high-value-added porous carbon for CO 2 capture. Porous carbon materials were prepared by KOH activation using different weight ratios of KOH/PC (1:1, 2:1, 3:1, and 4:1) and activation temperatures (600, 700, and 800 °C). The specific surface area and total pore volume of resulting porous carbon materials increased with KOH amount, reaching up to 2433 m 2 /g and 1.11 cm 3 /g, respectively. The sample prepared under moderate conditions with a KOH/PC weight ratio of 2:1 and activation temperature of 700 °C exhibited the highest CO 2 adsorption uptake of 3.68 mmol/g at 25 °C and 1 bar. Interestingly, CO 2 adsorption uptake was linearly correlated with the volume of micropores less than 0.8 nm, indicating that narrow micropore volume is crucial for CO 2 adsorption. The prepared porous carbon materials also exhibited good selectivity for CO 2 over N 2 , rapid adsorption, facile regeneration, and stable adsorption–desorption cyclic performance, demonstrating potential as a candidate for CO 2 capture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jan 31

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the Basic Science Research Program [grant number 2015R1A1A1A05001363 ] and the Super Ultra Low Energy and Emission Vehicle Engineering Research Center [ NRF-2016R1A5A1009592 ] of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Korean Government (Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • CO adsorption
  • KOH activation
  • Narrow micropore
  • Petroleum coke
  • Porous carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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