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Microcystin-LR Adsorption by Activated Carbon
We use a selection of wood-based and coconut activated charcoal powder coconut-based activated carbons to investigate the factors controlling the removal of the hepatotoxin microcystin-LR (m-LR) from aqueous solutions. The wood carbons contain both micropores and mesopores. The coconut carbons contain micropores only. Confirming previously published observations, we also find that the wood-based carbons adsorb more microcystin than the coconut-based carbons. From a combination of a judicious modification of a wood-based carbon's surface chemistry and of the solution chemistry, we demonstrate that both surface and solution chemistry play minor roles in the adsorption process, with the adsorbent surface chemistry exhibiting less influence than the solution chemistry. Conformational changes at low solution pH probably contribute to the observed increase in adsorption by both classes of adsorbent. At the solution pH of 2.5, the coconut-based carbons exhibit a 400% increased affinity for m-LR compared with 100% increases for the wood-based carbons. In an analysis of the thermodynamics of adsorption, using multiple temperature adsorption chromatography methods, we indicate that m-LR adsorption is an entropy-driven process for each of the carbons, except the most hydrophilic and mesoporous carbon, B1. In this case, exothermic enthalpy contributions to adsorption also exist. activated charcoal pellets bulkFrom our overall observations, since m-LR contains molecular dimensions in the secondary micropore width range, we demonstrate that it is important to consider both the secondary micropore and the mesopore volumes for the adsorption of m-LR from aqueous solutions. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

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