Mei-Ling Fang1, Ming-Shean Chou1, Cheng-Yu Chang1, Hsiao-Yu Chang 1, Chih-Hsiang Chen2, Sheng-Lun Lin 3,4,5, Yen-Kung Hsieh6

Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung 80424, Taiwan
School of Software and Microelectronics, Peiking University, Beijing 102600, China
Department of Civil Engineering and Geomatics, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan
Center for Environmental Toxin and Emerging-Contaminant Research, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan
Super Micro Mass Research and Technology Center, Cheng Shiu University, Kaohsiung 83347, Taiwan
Ocean Affairs Council, Kaohsiung 80661, Taiwan

Received: September 5, 2019
Revised: October 16, 2019
Accepted: October 19, 2019
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Cite this article:
Fang, M.L., Chou, M.S., Chang, C.Y., Chang, H.Y., Chen, C.H., Lin, S.L. and Hsieh, Y.K. (2019). Chemical Adsorption of Nitrogen Dioxide with an Activated Carbon Adsorption System. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 19: 2568-2575.


  • The NO2 removing efficiency and capacity of activated carbon bed is evaluated.
  • 90% of low-NO2-level influent could be removed by virgin and regenerated AC beds.
  • The regenerated AC remains 67% breakthrough time from virgin AC-bed system.
  • NO2 adsorption capacities approach 224 and 155 mg g–1 for virgin and regenerated AC.
  • The positive result promotes the development of the real-scale equipment.


Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) is a pollutant that directly harm the human respiratory system, lead to inflammation, as well as to form the secondary aerosol pollutants. The main NO2 sources, combustion or thermal processes, were well controlled. However, the metal etching operation in semiconductor industry emits flue gases with reddish-brown NO2 fume that leads to visibility reduction, acidic odor, as well as negative effects on human health. In this study, a stream of flue gases with low NO2 (230 ± 10 ppm) and NO (50 ppm) concentrations were conducted to pass through an activated carbon-packed fixed bed for analyzing the adsorptive conversion behavior of NO2 by the activated carbon (AC) at room temperature. The repeated adsorption test was carried out by washing the regenerated waste carbon with a caustic solution and water and drying. Results propose that at the beginning of adsorption, nitrogen dioxide combined with carbon to form NO and desorbed from carbon surface. The net adsorptive conversion removal capacity of NO2 by the virgin AC and regenerated AC was 224 and 155 mg g–1 AC, respectively. Regeneration restored around 70–75% of effective surface area, pore volume, and adsorptive conversion capacity of the virgin AC. Leached caustic solution obtained from the carbon regeneration contained only nitrate and the phenomena indicates the adsorbed -C2(ONO2) hydrolyzed following the Eq. (2) -C2(ONO2) + H2O → 3 -C* + -C(O) + 2 HNO3, where -C* denotes active site on the carbon surface.

Keywords: Activated carbon; Nitrogen dioxide; Adsorption; Air pollution control.

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