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Graphite Oxides Obtained from Porous Graphite: The Role of Surface Chemistry and Texture in Ammonia Retention at Ambient Conditions

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Abstract

Graphite oxides (GO) synthesized using Brodie and Hummers methods are tested for ammonia adsorption at ambient conditions with different contents of water in the system. Surface characterization before and after exposure to ammonia is performed using XRD, FTIR spectroscopy, potentiometric titration, thermal analysis, adsorption of nitrogen, and XPS. Oxidation of the same porous graphite using two methods results in materials with different textural and chemical features. On GO obtained using the Brodie method mainly epoxy and carboxylic groups are present whereas on the GO obtained using the Hummers method chemisorbed oxygen is also found. The contribution of the carboxylic groups in the latter material is greater. It also contains sulfur either in sulfones or as residual sulfuric acid. Ammonia is adsorbed either via reaction with surface groups or dissolution in water. The former is responsible for strong adsorption. The evidence of the catalytic effect of the carbon surface on activation of oxygen leading to surface oxidation is also observed.

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