Single and Multi-component Adsorptive Removal of Bisphenol A and 2,4-Dichlorophenol from Aqueous Solutions with Transition Metal Modified Inorganic-Organic Pillared Clay Composites: Effect of pH and Presence of Humic Acid
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Pillared clay based composites containing transition metals and a surfactant, namely MAlOr-NaBt (Bt = bentonite; Or = surfactant; M = Ni2+, Cu2+or Co2+), were prepared to study selectivity and capacity toward single and multiple-component adsorption of bisphenol A (BPA) and 2,4-diclorophenol (DCP) from water. Tests were also performed to account for the presence of natural organic matter in the form of humic acid (HA). Equilibrium adsorption capacities for single components increased as follows: NaBt < Al-NaBt < AlOr-NaBt < MAlOr-NaBt. The observed equilibrium loadings were ca. 5 and 3 mg g−1 for BPA and DCP, respectively, at neutral pH conditions and ambient temperature, representing an ordered of magnitude increase over the unmodified pillared clay capacities. Inclusion of the transition metal brought an increase of nearly two-fold in adsorption capacity over the materials modified only with surfactant. The MAlOr-NaBt adsorbents displayed remarkable selectivity for BPA. Multi-component fixed-bed tests, however, revealed competition between the adsorbates, with the exception of the CuAlOr-NaBt beds. Inclusion of HA, surprisingly, enhanced the phenols adsorption capacity. Preliminary regeneration tests suggested that the adsorbent capacity can be recovered via thermal treatment or by washing with alkaline solutions. The former strategy, however, requires surfactant replenishment. More complex schemes would be needed to deal with absorbed HA.