Estimating the Service Life of Activated Carbon Filters for Air Purification

  • P. Lodewyckx Royal Military Academy, Renaissancelaan 30, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
  • L. Fernandez-Velasco Royal Military Academy, Renaissancelaan 30, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
  • Y. Boutillara Royal Military Academy, Renaissancelaan 30, 1000 Brussels, Belgium; University of Mons, Place du Parc 20, 7000 Mons, Belgium
Keywords: activated carbon, model, air purification, filter


It is very important to be able to predict the breakthrough time of gas mask filters under real life circumstances. This article describes the use of a very simple predictive equation, the Wheeler-Jonas equation, that yields excellent predictions but only within a very restrictive set of boundary conditions. In order to make this model work in a more realistic environment, it has been gradually adapted to take into account a number of parameters related to this environment: a non-constant inlet concentration, a breather flow, new physical forms of activated carbon, the relative humidity and temperature of the ambient air, chemisorbed gases and mixtures of organic vapours. As (nearly) all of these parameters can be calculated independently of each other, based on data that are either readily available or that can be measured, their influence on the complexity of the model stays low. This makes this combined model both easy to use and powerful in predicting breakthrough times of gas mask filters under real-life conditions.


(1). L. Jonas, J. Rehrmann, Carbon 11 (1973) 59–64. Crossref

(2). A. Léonard, H. Wullens, S. Blacher, P. Marchot, D. Toye, M. Crine, P. Lodewyckx, Sep. Purif. Technol. 64 (2008) 127–130. Crossref

(3). M. Polanyi, Science 141 (1963) 1010–1013. Crossref

(4). M.M. Dubinin, J. Colloid Interf. Sci. 23 (1967) 487–499. Crossref

(5). G.O. Wood, Carbon 30 (1992) 593–599. Crossref

(6). L.A. Jonas, J.A. Rehrmann, Carbon 12 (1974) 95–101. Crossref

(7). G.O. Wood, J.F. Stampfer, Carbon 31 (1993) 195–200. Crossref

(8). G.O. Wood and P. Lodewyckx, Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 64 (2003) 646–650. Crossref

(9). P. Lodewyckx. Combined and Hybrid Adsorbents in J.M. Loureiro and M.T. Kartel (eds.). NATO Security through Science Series. Springer, Dordrecht (2006) 321–335. Crossref

(10). A. Johnson, F. Koh, W. Scott, K. Mackey, K. Chen, T. Rehak, Journal of the International Society for Respiratory Protection 22 (2005) 79–96

(11). Y. El-Sayed, T. Bandosz, H. Wullens, P. Lodewyckx, Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 45 (2006) 1441–1445. Crossref

(12). A. Kerimkulova, S. Azat, L. Velasco, Z. Mansurov, P. Lodewyckx, M. Tulepov, M. Kerimkulova, I. Berezovskaya, A. Imangazy, J. Chem. Technol. Metall. 54 (2019) 578–584.

(13). P. Lodewyckx, G.O. Wood, S.K. Ryu, Carbon, 42 (2004) 1351–1355. Crossref

(14). M.J.G. Linders, E.P.J. Mallens, J.J.G.M. Bokhoven, F. Kapteijn, J.A. Moulijn, Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 64 (2003) 173–180. Crossref

(15). J.J. van Bokhoven, J.M. Schell, P.J. Baak. Breakthrough Time of Organic Vapours in Activated Carbon Filters as a Function of the Air Flow Pattern. In: A.E. Rodrigues, M.D. LeVan, D. Tondeur (eds). Adsorption: Science and Technology. NATO ASI Series (Series E: Applied Sciences), Springer, Dordrecht. 158 (1989) 419–425. Crossref

(16). B. Windey, R. van Riet, Y. Boutillara, L. Fernadez-Velasco, P. Lodewyckx, Adsorption 25 (2019) 757–763. Crossref

(17). P. Lodewyckx, PhD Thesis, University of Antwerp (1998).

(18). P. Lodewyckx, T. Valdés-Solis, M.J.G Linders and F. Kapteijn, Extended abstract, International Carbon Conference, Providence RI, USA (2004).

(19). Y. Zeng, H. Xu, D.D. Do, D. Nicholson, Chem. Eng. J. 334 (2018) 1316–1327. DCrossref

(20). J.K. Brennan, T.J. Bandosz, K.T. Thomson, K.E. Gubbins, Colloids Surfaces A 187–188 (2001) 539–568. Crossref

(21). P. Lodewyckx, E.F. Vansant, Carbon 36 (1998) 304. Crossref

(22). P. Lodewyckx, E.F. Vansant, Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 60 (1999) 612–617. Crossref

(23). P. Lodewyckx, E.F. Vansant, Am. Ind. Hyg. Assoc. J. 61 (2000) 461–468. Crossref

(24). P. Lodewyckx, L. Verhoeven, Carbon 41 (2003) 1215–1219. Crossref

(25). D.D. Do, X. Hu, P.L.J. Mayfield, Gas separation and purification 5 (1991) 35–48. Crossref

(26). P. Lodewyckx, S. Blacher, A. Leonard, Adsorption 12 (2006) 19–26. Crossref

(27). Y. Boutillara, PhD Thesis, University of Mons – Royal Military Academy Belgium (2019).

How to Cite
P. Lodewyckx, L. Fernandez-Velasco, and Y. Boutillara, “Estimating the Service Life of Activated Carbon Filters for Air Purification”, Eurasian Chem.-Technol. J., vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 193-201, Sep. 2019.