An experimental and modelling study of water vapour adsorption on SBA-15

Alessio Centineo, Huong Giang T. Nguyen, Laura Espinal, Jarod C. Horn, Stefano Brandani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many publications have been dedicated to the study of water vapour adsorption on the ordered silica-based material Santa Barbara Amorphous-15 (SBA-15). However, two aspects still need to be clarified: whether the solid is stable under repeated adsorption- desorption cycles and whether the experimental data can be predicted with a simple yet accurate analytical equilibrium model. In this study, SBA-15 showed good long-term structural stability when exposed to repeated adsorption-desorption cycles using water vapour as adsorptive up to 90 % relative humidity at 288 K, 298 K and 308 K. The reproducibility of the equilibrium isotherm was investigated using different commercial gravimetric instruments designed for water vapour adsorption measurements. The experimental measurements show a modification of the microporous structure of the solid after the first full isotherm measurement. Some water is strongly adsorbed and trapped during the first experiment on a fresh sample. After the first adsorption- desorption cycle, the water isotherm is characterized by a low value of the Henry law constant and by a nearly vertical capillary condensation and evaporation branches. Quite

interestingly, the experimental scanning curves do not simply cross from one branch to the other as would be expected for cylindrical independent pores. The experimental data are correlated using new analytical models able to predict the amount adsorbed in the entire concentration range for the main adsorption-desorption branches and for the adsorption-desorption scanning curves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-72
JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
Early online date15 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • water vapour adsoption
  • SBA-15 stability
  • equilibrium modelling
  • scanning curves


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