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Determination of Isosteric Heat of Adsorption by Quenched Solid Density Functional Theory

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journal contribution
posted on 30.01.2017, 00:00 authored by Richard T. Cimino, Piotr Kowalczyk, Peter I. Ravikovitch, Alexander V. Neimark
The heat of adsorption is one of the most important parameters characterizing energetic heterogeneity of the adsorbent surface. Heats of adsorption are either determined directly by calorimetry or calculated from adsorption isotherms measured at different temperatures using the thermodynamic Clausius–Clapeyron equation. Here, we present a method for calculating the isosteric heat of adsorption that requires as input only a single adsorption isotherm measured at one temperature. The proposed method is implemented with either nonlocal (NLDFT) or quenched solid (QSDFT) density functional theory models of adsorption that are currently widely used for calculating pore size distributions in various micro- and mesoporous solids. The pore size distribution determined from the same experimental isotherm is used for predicting the isosteric heat. The QSDFT method has advantages of taking into account two factors contributing to the structural heterogeneity of adsorbents: the molecular level roughness of the surface and the pore size distribution. The method is illustrated with examples of low temperature nitrogen and argon adsorption on selected samples of carbons of different degree of graphitization and MCM-41 mesoporous silicas of different pore size. The isosteric heat predictions from the NLDFT and QSDFT methods are compared against relevant experiments and the results of Monte Carlo (MC) simulations, with good agreement found in the cases where the surface model adequately reflects the pore surface roughness. Analyses with the QSDFT method show that the isosteric heat of adsorption significantly depends of the molecular level roughness of the adsorbent surface, which is ignored in NLDFT and MC models. The proposed QSDFT method with further verification can be used for calculating the isosteric heat as an additional parameter characterizing the adsorbent surface in parallel with routine calculations of the pore size distribution from a single adsorption isotherm.