Effect of UV and electrochemical surface treatments on the adsorption and reaction of linear alcohols on non-porous carbon fibre

S. Osbeck, S. Ward, H. Idriss*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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The adsorption properties of untreated, electrochemically treated and ultra-violet/ozone treated polyacrylonitrile based carbon fibres were investigated using temperature programmed desorption (TPD) on a series of linear alcohols as probes in order to understand its surface properties. Surface uptake was found to be sensitive to both the surface treatment and the nature of the adsorbates. Surface coverage increased with increasing alcohol chain due to the increase in their polarizability. It also increased with the level of surface oxygen of the fibres most likely because it facilitates the O-H bond dissociation of the alcohol functional group. In addition, the desorption temperature (during TPD) tracked the surface oxygen levels (as determined from XPS O1s signal) suggesting increasing in the adsorption energy. The reactions of C1-C4 linear alcohols were also investigated on the surface of the fibre carbon. The main reaction was dehydrogenation to the corresponding aldehydes; the dehydration reaction to olefins was not observed. The dehydrogenation reaction was sensitive to the length of the alky chain. It was highest for methanol (to formaldehyde) and decreased with increasing the carbon number. Overall TPD of linear alcohols was shown to be a promising method for quantifying the level and strength of bonding occurring on carbon fibre surfaces. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-280
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Early online date10 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • fibre carbon surface
  • UV/O-3 treatment
  • temperature programmed desorption
  • linear alcohols reaction
  • dehydrogenation and dehydration reactions
  • gas-phase acidity
  • activated carbons
  • carboxylic-acids
  • chemistry
  • catalysts
  • ethanol
  • composites
  • equilibria
  • methanol
  • defects


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