A model is developed using classical thermodynamics to characterize pore size distributions (PSDs) of materials containing micropores and mesopores. The thermal equation of equilibrium adsorption (TEEA) is used to provide thermodynamic properties and relate the relative pore filling pressure of vapors to the characteristic pore energies of the adsorbent/adsorbate system for micropore sizes. Pore characteristic energies are calculated by averaging of interaction energies between adsorbate molecules and adsorbent pore walls as well as considering adsorbate-adsorbate interactions. A modified Kelvin equation is used to characterize mesopore sizes by considering variation of the adsorbate surface tension and by excluding the adsorbed film layer for the pore size. The modified-Kelvin equation provides similar pore filling pressures as predicted by density functional theory. Combination of these models provides a complete PSD of the adsorbent for the micropores and mesopores. The resulting PSD is compared with the PSDs from Jaroniec and Choma and Horvath and Kawazoe models as well as a first-order approximation model using Polanyi theory. The major importance of this model is its basis on classical thermodynamic properties, less simplifying assumptions in its derivation compared to other methods, and ease of use.
Additional publication details
New general pore size distribution model by classical thermodynamics application: Activated carbon