|Adsorption of polar and ionic organic compounds on activated carbon: Surface chemistry matters
|Zhou, J.; Saeidi, N.; Wick, L.Y.; Kopinke, F.-D.; Georgi, A.
|Science of the Total Environment
|AC; Adsorption processes; Surface modification; Persistent and mobile organic compounds; Water treatment
|Persistent and mobile organic compounds (PMOCs) are often detected micropollutants in the water cycle, thereby challenging the conventional wastewater and drinking water treatment techniques. Carbon-based adsorbents are often less effective or even unable to remove this class of pollutants. Understanding of PMOC adsorption mechanisms is urgently needed for advanced treatment of PMOC-contaminated water. Here, we investigated the effect of surface modifications of activated carbon felts (ACFs) on the adsorption of six selected PMOCs carrying polar or ionic groups. Among three ACFs, defunctionalized ACF bearing net positive surface charge at neutral pH provides the most versatile sorption efficiency for all studied PMOC types representing neutral, anionic and cationic compounds. Ion exchange capacity giving quantitative information of sorbent surface charges at specified pH is recognized as a frequently underestimated key property for evaluating adsorbents aiming at PMOC adsorption. A most recently developed prediction tool for Freundlich parameters in PMOC adsorption was applied and the prediction results are compared to the experimental data. The comparison demonstrates the so far underestimated importance of the sorbent surface chemistry for PMOC adsorption affinity and capacity. PMOC adsorption mechanisms were additionally investigated by adsorption experiments at various temperatures, pH values and electrolyte concentrations. Exothermic sorption was observed for all sorbate-sorbent pairs. Adsorption is improved for ionic PMOCs on AC carrying sites of the same charge (positive or negative) at increased electrolyte concentration, while not affected for neutral PMOCs unless strong electron donor-acceptor yet weak non-Coulombic interactions exist. Our findings will allow for better design and targeted application of activated carbon-based sorbents in water treatment facilities.
|Persistent UFZ Identifier
|Zhou, J., Saeidi, N., Wick, L.Y., Kopinke, F.-D., Georgi, A. (2021):
Adsorption of polar and ionic organic compounds on activated carbon: Surface chemistry matters
Sci. Total Environ. 794 , art. 148508