From Langmuir isotherm to Brunauer–Emmett–Teller isotherm

Pradeep Vyawahare, Hla Tun, Mark W. Vaughn, Chau Chyun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developed for multilayer adsorption, the Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) isotherm considers the adsorption of the first layer as an equilibrium chemical reaction between adsorbate molecules and adsorption sites and the adsorption of the second and subsequent layers as a condensation–evaporation process. Following the recent development of an activity-based formulation for the Langmuir isotherm for monolayer adsorption, we present an activity-based formulation for the BET isotherm in which species concentrations are replaced with species activities. Capturing the adsorbent surface heterogeneity for the adsorption of the first layer, the resulting thermodynamic BET isotherm is shown to accurately represent pure component adsorption isotherms over the relative pressure range of zero to unity or prior to the onset of capillary condensation. The thermodynamic BET isotherm should facilitate accurate estimation of monolayer adsorption capacity and the corresponding adsorbent surface area.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAIChE Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • adsorption NRTL activity coefficient model
  • monolayer adsorption
  • multilayer adsorption
  • thermodynamic Brunauer–Emmett–Teller isotherm
  • thermodynamic Langmuir isotherm


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