Adsorptive removal of hydrophobic organic compounds by carbonaceous adsorbents: A comparative study of waste-polymer-based, coal-based activated carbon, and carbon nanotubes

Fei Lian, Chun Chang, Yang Du, Lingyan Zhu, Baoshan Xing, Chang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Adsorption of the hydrophobic organic compounds (HOCs) trichloroethylene (TCE), 1,3-dichlorobenzene (DCB), 1,3-dinitrobenzene (DNB) and γ-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) on five different carbonaceous materials was compared. The adsorbents included three polymer-based activated carbons, one coal-based activated carbon (F400) and multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNT). The polymer-based activated carbons were prepared using KOH activation from waste polymers: polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethyleneterephthalate (PET) and tire rubber (TR). Compared with F400 and MWNT, activated carbons derived from PVC and PET exhibited fast adsorption kinetics and high adsorption capacity toward the HOCs, attributed to their extremely large hydrophobic surface area (2700 m2/g) and highly mesoporous structures. Adsorption of small-sized TCE was stronger on the tire-rubber-based carbon and F400 resulting from the pore-filling effect. In contrast, due to the molecular sieving effect, their adsorption on HCH was lower. MWNT exhibited the lowest adsorption capacity toward HOCs because of its low surface area and characteristic of aggregating in aqueous solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1549-1558
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of environmental sciences (China)
Volume24
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Activated carbon
  • Adsorption mechanism
  • Hydrophobic organic compound
  • Polymer waste

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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