Nanocrystalline metal oxides as new adsorbents for air purification

Abbas Khaleel, Pramesh N. Kapoor, Kenneth J. Klabunde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)


Nanocrystals of MgO, CaO, and Al2O3 were prepared by aerogel (AP-samples) or conventional (CP-samples) methods. High surface areas/gram were obtained, often as high as 500 m2/g (1). These materials were investigated as adsorbents for typical volatile organic compounds that are representative of air pollutants. As a result of their high surface areas and their enhanced surface reactivity, nanocrystalline MgO, CaO and Al2O3 have shown remarkably high capacities to chemically adsorb such organic compounds. Compared to high surface area activated carbon, the most widely used material in this application, our nanocrystalline materials have exhibited higher capacities and the ability to destructively adsorb rather than physisorb these chemicals. FT-IR investigation of acetaldehyde adsorption on AP- and CP-MgO indicates that a multilayer dissociative adsorption took place. Adsorption of other organic compounds was also investigated including acetone, propionaldehyde, benzaldehyde, trimethylacetaldehyde, ammonia, dimethylamine, N-nitrosodiethylamine, and methanol, most of which were found to adsorb well on AP-MgO. In addition, long term air exposure did not have detrimental effects on the adsorption properties of AP-MgO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-468
Number of pages10
JournalNanostructured Materials
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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