Microporous and Mesoporous Materials

The effect of activation time on water sorption behavior of nitrogen-doped, physically activated, monolithic carbon for adsorption cooling

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Monolithic, nitrogen-doped carbon sorbents were prepared from resorcinol-urea-formaldehyde resins and physically activated with CO2 for different activation times. The effect of the activation time on the water sorption behavior and the physicochemical properties were investigated. Longer activation times lead to a steeper slope of the water sorption isotherm and, due to a higher specific surface area and micropore volume, an increased water sorption capacity. It was found that, after physical activation for 3 h at 800 °C, the physically activated, nitrogen-doped carbon has a high surface area (>1000 m2/g) and a high water sorption capacity (50 wt%). In a miniaturized adsorption heat pump test stand, the best candidate material was assessed alongside commercial silica gel for reference. At a temperature swing from 90 °C → 50 °C, the CO2-activated carbon exhibits a maximal specific cooling power which is a factor of 1.7 higher in comparison with the reference silica gel (429 W/kg versus 255 W/kg). At a more applicable temperature swing, 60 °C → 30 °C, the CO2-activated carbon yields a specific cooling power 3.8 times higher than that of the silica gel reference (932 W/kg versus 240 W/kg).