A study of plasma−porous carbon−CO2 interactions: Ammonia plasma treatment and CO2 capture

Madhuwanthi Buddhadasa, Brieuc Verougstraete, Yamid Ali Gómez Rueda, David Petitjean, Joeri Denayer, François Reniers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Downloads (Pure)


Owing to its high porosity and tunable surface chemistry activated carbon (AC) is considered a promising material for CO2 adsorption. Functionalising porous materials by plasma is challenging but if successful, it could enhance the CO2 uptake capacity of AC via chemisorption. This work presents an in-depth analysis of the interactions between ammonia plasmas and the porous surface of AC monolithic samples. The treatment involved an ammonia based atmospheric-pressure dielectric barrier discharge and a low-pressure radio frequency plasma. Unique plasma reactor designs for treating 3-dimensional, electrically conducting and non-conducting monolithic structures at atmospheric pressure with versatile applications are presented. The plasma-surface interactions were analysed using emission spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. High surface N containing AC samples were then used to assess the treatment effect on the subsurface. A much lower although a still significant amount of N was found at depths of ∼30 µm. A simple fit of the results showed that the ratio of plasma species reaching the surface with higher to lower sticking probability was 4:1. A slight decrease in the microporosity of the plasma treated samples was found and attributed to pore blocking by the grafted N species. Plasma treated AC with high N showed an improved CO2 adsorption capacity of up to 14 % and selectivity against CH4 and N2 adsorption showed that the treatment was selective primarily towards CO2.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102388
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of CO2 utilization
Issue number102388
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Brussels Capital Region, Innoviris through the Bridge CCC-MEP project. M. Buddhadasa and F. Reniers are thankful to Petrica Dulgheru for generously providing the cordierite monoliths.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors.


  • Activated carbon
  • Ammonia plasma
  • COadsorption
  • Porous monolith functionalization
  • Reactor design
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'A study of plasma−porous carbon−CO2 interactions: Ammonia plasma treatment and CO2 capture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this