Facile preparation of N and O-rich porous carbon from palm sheath for highly selective separation of CO2/CH4/N2 gas-mixture

Fan Liu, Yan Zhang, Peixin Zhang, Mai Xu, Ting Tan, Jun Wang, Qiang Deng, Lingyi Zhang, Yiqun Wan, Shuguang Deng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Novel N- and O-rich porous carbons were facilely prepared by one step NaNH2 activation of palm sheath at 350–550 °C for the highly selective separation of CO2/N2, CO2/CH4, and CH4/N2. The biomass of palm sheath was used as the precursor. The BET surface area, pore size distribution, and polar functional groups (O&N) ratio could be easily tailored by changing the activation temperature or NaNH2/biomass ratio. The co-effect of O&N and the effect of microporous structure on gas adsorption and separation were investigated, indicating the ultra-micropore (<0.9 nm) dominated the CO2 and CH4 adsorption at the pressure of 1.0 bar, while both ultra-micropores and heteroatoms (O&N) affected CO2 and CH4 adsorption capacities at the low-pressure range (<0.15 bar) as well as the gas separation performance. The obtained porous carbon adsorbents exhibited a large BET surface area (up to 2181 m2/g), narrow pore size distribution, and abundant polar groups (O&N). Due to the high surface area and ultra-micropores, as well as moderate polar group ratio, the as-prepared porous carbon exhibited excellent CO2/N2, CO2/CH4, and CH4/N2 selectivities of 107, 10.7, and 7.6 at 298 K and 1.0 bar, respectively. The carbons also showed outstanding CO2 and CH4 uptakes. Furthermore, the breakthrough and regeneration experiments further confirmed their feasibility as promising adsorbents for CO2/N2, CO2/CH4, and CH4/N2 separation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125812
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Adsorption
  • Gas separation
  • N and O-rich porous carbon
  • Palm sheath

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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