The sorption of moisture and environmental gases by natural materials, such as wood, coal and clays, is important for a number of reasons.
Wood, for example, is a hygroscopic material, and its physical and mechanical properties depend on moisture content. Characterizing water sorption behavior is therefore critical in wood science and technology. Also, difficulties with the use of wood for construction are often associated with the presence of moisture. Understanding the effect of protective treatments, particularly those aimed at preventing moisture ingress, requires detailed knowledge of the interaction of water with both treated and untreated timber.
Meanwhile, gas sorption by geological materials, such as coals and shales, is important to analyze natural gas reserves and assess underground CO2 storage and enhanced hydrocarbon recovery processes. Water also interacts with many other natural materials, including biological matter, such as seeds and fibres, and inorganic materials such as clays and clay minerals.
In every case, both the thermodynamics and kinetics of gas and water sorption can be accurately characterized using Hiden Isochema instruments. Moisture uptake can be measured using the IGAsorp dynamic vapor sorption (DVS) analyzer and the IGA-002 gravimetric analyzer, while the uptake of environmental gases at sub- and super-atmospheric pressures can be determined with the IGA-001 and the IMI series. Adsorption under extreme conditions, for example, high pressures for shale gas studies, can also be accurately characterized using our XEMIS sorption microbalance.