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Adsorption of chlorophenols from aqueous solutions by pristine and surface functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes

Ding, Han, Li, Xin, Wang, Jun, Zhang, Xiaojian, Chen, Chao
Journal of environmental sciences (China) 2016 v.43 pp. 187-198
adsorbents, adsorption, aqueous solutions, carbon nanotubes, carboxylation, chlorophenols, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, hydroxylation, ionic strength, models, moieties, pH, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, sorption isotherms, surface area
The adsorption of six kinds of chlorophenols on pristine, hydroxylated and carboxylated single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) has been investigated. Pseudo-first order and pseudo-second order models were used to describe the kinetic data. All adsorption isotherms were well fitted with Langmuir, Freundlich and Polanyi–Manes models, due to surface adsorption dominating the adsorption process. The close linear relationship between logKow and logKd suggested that hydrophobicity played an important role in the adsorption. The SWCNTs' adsorption capacity for chlorophenols was weakened by addition of oxygen-containing functional groups on the surface, due to the loss of specific surface area, the increase of hydrophilicity and the reduction of π–π interaction. The best adsorption capacity of pristine SWCNTs, SWCNT-OH and SWCNT-COOH for six chlorophenols varied from 19 to 84mg/g, from 19 to 65mg/g and from 17 to 65mg/g, respectively. The effect of pH on the adsorption of 2,6-dichlorophenol (2,6-DCP), was also studied. When pH is over the pKa of 2,6-dichlorophenol (2,6-DCP), its removal dropped sharply. When ionic strength increased (NaCl or KCl concentration from 0 to 0.02mmol/L), the adsorption capacity of 2,6-DCP on pristine SWCNTs decreased slightly. The comparison of chlorophenols adsorption by SWCNTs, MWCNTs and PAC was made, indicating that the adsorption rate of CNTs was much faster than that of PAC. The results provide useful information about the feasibility of SWCNTs as an adsorbent to remove chlorophenols from aqueous solutions.