Shih-Ying Hsiao1, Shu-Wen You1, Can Wang2,3, Ji-Guang Deng4, Hsing-Cheng Hsi This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.1 

1 Graduate Institute of Environmental Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
2 School of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
3 Tianjin Key Lab of Indoor Air Environmental Quality Control, Tianjin 300072, China
4 College of Environmental and Energy Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, Beijing 100124, China

Received: January 6, 2022
Revised: April 8, 2022
Accepted: April 12, 2022

 Copyright The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are cited.

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Cite this article:

Hsiao, S.Y,. You, S.W., Wang, C., Deng, J.G., Hsi, H.C. (2022). Adsorption of Volatile Organic Compounds and Microwave Regeneration on Self-prepared High-surface-area Beaded Activated Carbon. Aerosol Air Qual. Res. 22, 220010.


  • Beaded activated carbon was successfully derived from phenolic formaldehyde resin.
  • Self-prepared activated carbon had much greater surface area than commercial one.
  • Adsorption and regeneration with microwave for two VOCs were well studied.
  • Intraparticle diffusion dominates the rate-limiting step during microwave heating.
  • Cyclic tests verified regenerability of carbons and the heel buildup within micropores.


Self-prepared beaded activated carbons (SBAC) were derived from carbonized phenolic formaldehyde (PF) resins through an optimal activation procedure (900°C for 4 h) using CO2 and compared with a commercial BAC (termed KBAC) over physicochemical properties, adsorption performance against methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and toluene (TOL), and their regenerability. Langmuir, Freundlich, and Dubinin‒Radushkevich (D‒R) isotherm models showed good fitting results. The isosteric heat of adsorption was calculated using the Clausius-Clapeyron equation; the parameters obtained from the D‒R isotherm indicate that the physisorption predominates the adsorption process. Microwave heating was applied to regenerate the saturated adsorbents to examine the effect of irradiation power and heating time on the desorption behavior. Within 12 min of microwave irradiation, excellent desorption efficiencies were shown, reaching 110 ± 14.4%, 104 ± 2.6%, 90.2 ± 2.3%, and 85.5 ± 5.7% for MEK-SBAC, MEK-KBAC, TOL-SBAC, and TOL-KBAC samples, respectively. Kinetic models were further employed to illustrate the desorption behavior, showing that intraparticle diffusion in SBAC and KBAC was the rate-limiting step during microwave heating. The core kinetic parameters could provide insights for lab-scale or practical engineering scale design. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the excellent adsorption performance of SBAC and the feasibility of microwave regeneration of BACs.

Keywords: Volatile organic compounds, Toluene, Methyl ethyl ketone, Beaded activated carbon, Microwave regeneration

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