Adsorption of selected organic solvents on clay & sand by inverse gas chromatography

  • Author / Creator
    El-Thaher, Nayef
  • The technique of Inverse Gas Chromatography (IGC) was employed for the study of the interactions between various organic solvents with various types of the major inorganic materials (clay minerals and sand) found in Alberta’s oil sands. Heat of adsorption (-∆H) was measured for each solvent with respect to each of the four studied inorganic materials. The calculation we used was based on the Infinite Dilution Thermodynamics approach used by Katsanos et. al. [Journal of Chromatography A. 795, 133-184 (1998)]. Retention time data is converted into Retention Volume; ∆H is then obtained by a plot vs. 1/T. The solvents studied were straight chain, branched and cyclic alkanes, alkenes, aromatics, and ketones. The inorganic materials studied were kaolinite, illite, illite-smectite mixed layer, and sand. Our results show that solvents had significantly less affinity for sand when compared to the three types of clay studied. Additionally, solvent affinity to illite had appreciable difference when compared to kaolinite and the mixed layer of illite-smectite. Furthermore, increase in carbon number leads to increased adsorption to the clay. Branched or cyclic alkanes have slightly lower adsorption to clay when compared to straight chain alkane of the same carbon number. Double bonds significantly increase solvent affinity to clay, but have no effect on sand. Lastly, alcohols and ketones have very high affinity to clay that no elution occurred when either solvent was injected into the GC and only ketone eluted when sand was the stationary phase in the GC column.

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  • Degree
    Master of Science
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