The pore-wall chemistry of activated carbon fiber (ACF) was controlled by heating in Ar and H2. The ACF structures were characterized from various levels, and interaction of water vapor with the micropores of ACF was directly measured by calorimetry. Two kinds of pitch-based ACFs with different pore widths (w) (P5, w = 0.7 nm, and P20, w = 1.0 nm) were used. P20 was treated at 1273 K in a gas flow of Ar or H2 for 1 h to modify its surface properties. Adsorption isotherms of water on the two ACFs at 303 K showed different features, which are possibly caused by the pore width difference. The surface modification by the heat treatment of P20 changed its pore structure, leading to different water adsorption behavior. The mechanisms of water adsorption and desorption can be discussed through the differential or integral heat of water adsorption or desorption. Water adsorbs on the functional groups located at the surface of P20 with an adsorption heat comparable to the heat of condensation at relatively low P/P0, causing the cluster formation of water molecules. The removal of such functional groups by heat treatment decreases the adsorption heat at low pressure. The differential heat abruptly increases at filling in all cases, indicating a structural formation of water from a clustered form to a highly ordered form.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry