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Abstract

Adsorption and diffusion in a porous media were studied theoretically and experimentally with a differential transient permeation method. The porous medium is allowed to equilibrate at some specified loading, and then the time trajectory of the permeation process is followed after a small difference between the pressures at the end faces of the porous medium is introduced at time t = 0 +. Such a trajectory vs. time would contain adsorption and diffusion characteristics of the system. By studying this for various surface loadings, pore and surface diffusions can be fully characterized. Mathematical modeling of transient permeation is detailed for pure gases or vapors diffusion and adsorption in porous media. Effects of nonlinearity of adsorption isotherm, pressure, temperature and heat effects were considered in the model. Experimental data of diffusion and adsorption of propane, n-butane and n-hexane in activated carbon at different temperatures and loadings show the potential of this method as a useful tool to study adsorption kinetics in porous media. Validity of the model is best tested against the transient data where the kinetics curves exhibit sigmoidal shape, which is a result of the diffusion and adsorption rate during the initial stage of permeation.