Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

John C. Ford, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jaeju Ko, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Nathan R. McElroy, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Keith Kyler, Ph.D.


Glucose and cellobiose are the simplest model compounds for cellulose. Glucose is itself a valuable commodity. It is a food as well as a biorenewable starting material for a variety of other materials. However, certain fundamental data for this common material are scarce or unavailable. For example, although activated carbon has long been used to purify carbohydrates, published adsorption isotherms for glucose on carbon are rare. We are unaware of any published adsorption isotherm for cellobiose on carbon. In this research, adsorption isotherms for glucose and cellobiose on activated carbon were determined. The experiment was carried out using HPLC and a derivatization method to quantify the saccharide concentrations before and after adsorption. The Brauner-Emmet-Teller equation best fit the isotherm data. For glucose, over the temperature range of 20-35°C, the adsorption equilibrium constants gave a nonlinear van't Hoff plot, which can be rationalized by consideration of the conformational equilbria involved.