Adsorption as one of the most important air cleaning methods has been extensively applied during which the coexisting airborne nanoparticles (NPs) with sizes close to adsorbent pore sizes could inevitably influence gas adsorption processes. In this work, the influence of sub-20 nm NPs on toluene adsorption on ZSM-5 zeolites exchanged with different cations (Li+, Na+ and K+) were studied based on gas-and-particle coexisting adsorption/filtration tests. Affinities for both toluene and NPs on adsorbents follow Li-ZSM-5 > Na-ZSM-5 > K-ZSM-5 regarding the orders of charge density, pore size, and internal and external specific surface areas. The toluene adsorption was shown to be impaired by coexisting NPs from perspectives of thermodynamics and kinetics. For Li-ZSM-5, Na-ZSM-5 and K-ZSM-5, significant relative reductions of 10.4 %, 10.5 % and 16.0 % in toluene adsorption capacity at the lower feed concentration, and of 20.3 %, 15.2 % and 2.3 % in mass transfer coefficient at the higher feed concentration were observed, respectively. The influential mechanisms regarding competitiveness between toluene and NPs in interaction with cationic and porous surfaces were accordingly proposed, which are of practical significance for selecting robust adsorbents under realistic harsh air conditions.
- Airborne nanoparticles
- Gas purification