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Performance of a novel microwave-based treatment technology for atrazine removal and destruction: Sorbent reusability and chemical stability, and effect of water matrices

Hu, Erdan, Hu, Yuanan, Cheng, Hefa
Journal of hazardous materials 2015 v.299 pp. 444-452
adsorbents, anions, aqueous solutions, atrazine, catalytic activity, cations, copper, dissolved organic carbon, groundwater, humic acids, iron, micropores, microwave radiation, sorption, surface water, zeolites
Transition metal-exchanged dealuminated Y zeolites were used to adsorb atrazine from aqueous solutions, followed by regeneration of the sorbents and destruction of the sorbed atrazine with microwave irradiation. Exchange of copper and iron into the zeolite's micropores significantly enhanced its sorption capacity and selectivity toward atrazine, and increased the microwave-induced degradation rate of the sorbed atrazine by 3–4-folds. Both the copper- and iron-exchanged zeolites could be regenerated and reused multiple times, while the catalytic activity of the latter was more robust due to the much greater chemical stability of Fe3+ species in the micropores. The presence of humic acid, and common cations and anions had little impact on the sorption of atrazine on the transition metal-exchanged zeolites. In the treatment of atrazine spiked in natural surface water and groundwater samples, sorptive removal of atrazine was found to be impacted by the level of dissolved organic carbon, probably through competition for the micropore spaces and pore blocking, while the water matrices exhibited no strong effect on the microwave-induced degradation of sorbed atrazine. Overall, iron-exchanged dealuminated Y zeolites show great potential for removal and destruction of atrazine from contaminated surface water and groundwater in practical implementation of the novel treatment technology.