The unburned hydrocarbon (HC) emissions of automobiles are subject to strong regulations because they are known to be converted into fine dust, ozone, and photochemical smog. Pitch-based activated carbon fibers (ACF) prepared by steam activation can be a good solution for HC removal. The structural characteristics of ACF were observed using X-ray diffraction. The pore characteristics were investigated using N2
/77K adsorption isotherms. The butane working capacity (BWC) was determined according to ASTM D5228. From the results, the specific surface area and total pore volume of the ACF were determined to be 840–2630 m2
/g and 0.33–1.34 cm3
/g, respectively. The butane activity and butane retentivity of the ACF increased with increasing activation time and were observed to range between 15.78–57.33% and 4.19–11.47%, respectively. This indicates that n-butane adsorption capacity could be a function not only of the specific surface area or total pore volume but also of the sub-mesopore volume fraction in the range of 2.0–2.5 nm of adsorbents. The ACF exhibit enhanced BWC, and especially adsorption velocity, compared to commercial products (granules and pellets), with lower concentrations of n-butane due to a uniformly well-developed pore structure open directly to the outer surface.
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