Abstract

The objective of this work was to use air-dried sepiolite granules as an additive in cigarette filter tips to increase the removal yield of tar and nicotine from mainstream smoke. Granules with a mass of 95 mg per cigarette filter and a mean particle size (D) of 0.05–0.41 mm were used to constrain the effects of the mean particle size and mass of sepiolite in the removal process. The granules were sandwiched in common cellulose acetate filter tips. Maximum removal yields of 90% were obtained when D ≤ 0.10 mm. Filters containing granules with a mean size of 0.10 mm and mass variations from 35 to 95 mg were tested, and increasing amounts of sepiolite added led to progressively greater yields of tar and nicotine from 20% to 90%. The sepiolite granules were examined using scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction techniques both before and after smoke experimentation. It is suggested that tar and nicotine were condensed both on the fibre clusters of the sepiolite granules and in the voids between them during the flow of the mainstream smoke.

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