Adsorption of mesitylene via mesoporous adsorbents

Kai Chun Nien, Feng Tang Chang, Moo Been Chang

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16 Scopus citations


Mesitylene (or 1,3,5-trimethylbenzene) is a volatile organic compound emitted from various industrial processes, e.g., spray coating. Its emissions have become a critical issue because mesitylene is toxic and cannot be removed using traditional adsorbents, e.g., zeolite (H-ZSM-5; the diameter of mesitylene molecules is greater than the pore size of H-ZSM-5). Hence, an adsorbent with a large pore size, MCM-41, is used in this study to investigate its adsorption capacity for mesitylene and compare with that of H-ZSM-5. Experimental results reveal that MCM-41 without Al2O3 exhibits a good adsorption capacity (184 mg/g) for the gas stream containing 100 ppm of mesitylene at a relative humidity of 10%. The adsorption kinetics is well described by the Freundlich isotherm. Furthermore, experimental results reveal that MCM-41 is effective for the adsorption of low concentrations (10 ppm) of mesitylene. In addition, adsorption–desorption tests revealed that the sample MCM-41-AS is stable to sustain the adsorption capacity after 10 adsorption–desorption cycles. After 10 adsorption–desorption cycles, MCM-41-AS retains 92.4% of its initial adsorption capacity (170 vs. 184 mg/g). Finally, MCM-41 and H-ZSM-5 in series are effective for the simultaneous removal of mesitylene and toluene in the gas stream. Implications: This study aims to improve the performance of adsorbent for mesitylene, which is typically applied in the spray-coating industry. The zeolite MCM-41-AS is selected as a candidate for the investigation. Experimental results reveal that MCM-41-AS exhibits a good adsorption capacity for mesitylene and that it can be integrated with H-ZSM-5-25 for the simultaneous adsorption of mesitylene and toluene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1327
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2 Dec 2017


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