The adsorption of benzene, toluene and xylene (BTX) was investigated covering different types of commercially available activated carbons with varied surface area and surface functional groups. The physico-chemical properties were characterized by Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) surface area analysis, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and the Boehm titration method. Experiments to assess the adsorption isotherms and kinetics of adsorption were performed and the results are presented. An increase in the surface acid functional groups was found to decrease the adsorption capacity, with the highest adsorption capacity corresponding to carbon with lowest acid functionality.

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