Comparative simulation study of nitrogen and ammonia adsorption on graphitized and nongraphitized carbon blacks

Luis Herrera Diaz, Do Duong, Greg Birkett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Grand canonical Monte Carlo simulation is used to study the adsorption of nitrogen at 77 K and ammonia at 240 K to represent weakly polar and polar molecules, respectively, on infinite and finite graphite surfaces. These graphite surfaces were modeled with different percentages of carbons removed (defects) from the top graphite layer. Increasing the number of defects increases the adsorption and the isosteric heat of nitrogen at low pressure. At moderate pressures the amount adsorbed is less due to the disruption in the packing of the nitrogen in the first layer. In contrast, the adsorption of ammonia at all pressures is reduced as the percentage of defects is increased. This is due to the disruption in ammonia bonding caused by the defects. The condensation-like step change in the ammonia isotherm on the perfect graphite surface is not observed for any of these surfaces with defects even for the case of only 10% defects. At high percentage of defects the adsorption isotherm is close to Henry law behavior for much of the pressure range. The adsorption on finite surfaces shows that the amount adsorbed for both molecules decreases compared with that of the infinite surfaces, resulting from interaction potentials with the surface and other fluid molecules at the edge. The decrease is much greater for the ammonia adsorption because the bonding between ammonia molecules is disrupted, meaning that the adsorption cannot follow the mechanism of condensation seen for the infinite surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-422
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


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