Phenolic carbon tailored for the removal of polar organic contaminants from water: A solution to the metaldehyde problem?

Rosa Busquets Santacana, O.P. Kozynchenko, Raymond Whitby, S.R. Tennison, Andrew Cundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Current water treatment technologies are inefficient at treating water contaminated with metaldehyde, an 8-member cyclic tetramer of acetaldehyde widely used as a molluscicide in large-scale agriculture and in gardens, and which has been frequently observed to breach European regulatory limits in the UK due to its high solubility and frequent use. Here, we examine the controls on metaldehyde adsorption onto activated phenolic carbon, namely the influence of activation degree, pore size distribution, particle size, point of zero charge and surface functionalisation, by synthesising “tailored” carbons from phenolic resin. Metaldehyde adsorption has been found to be independent of specific surface area (S BET), which is highly unusual for an adsorption process, and is favoured in carbons with (a) high microporosity with narrow pore size distribution, (b) presence of mesopores which allow efficient diffusive transport, and (c) an absence of negatively charged functional groups. The maximum adsorption capacity of the phenolic resin-derived carbons, tested at an elevated (i.e. exceeding environmental levels) water concentration of 64 mg metaldehyde/ L, was 76 mg metaldehyde/g carbon compared with 13 mg metaldehyde/g carbon in industrial granular activated carbon (GAC). The phenolic resin-derived carbons and GAC showed similar adsorption kinetics with maximum metaldehyde uptake occurring within 30 min under batch adsorption conditions, although adsorption isotherms indicate much stronger adsorption of metaldehyde on the phenolic resin-derived carbons. Adsorption efficiency for metaldehyde was maintained even in the presence of high background concentrations of organic matter and inorganic salts, indicating the potential utility of these “designer” carbons in waste and/or drinking water treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages11
JournalWater Research
Volume61
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2014

Fingerprint

adsorption
pollutant
carbon
resin
water
activated carbon
removal
inorganic salt
acetaldehyde
functional group
garden
water treatment
isotherm
solubility
water level
surface area
particle size
agriculture
organic matter
kinetics

Bibliographical note

© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

Keywords

  • Metaldehyde
  • Phenolic carbon
  • Water treatment
  • Wastewater

Cite this

Busquets Santacana, Rosa ; Kozynchenko, O.P. ; Whitby, Raymond ; Tennison, S.R. ; Cundy, Andrew. / Phenolic carbon tailored for the removal of polar organic contaminants from water: A solution to the metaldehyde problem?. In: Water Research. 2014 ; Vol. 61. pp. 46-56.
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Phenolic carbon tailored for the removal of polar organic contaminants from water: A solution to the metaldehyde problem? / Busquets Santacana, Rosa; Kozynchenko, O.P.; Whitby, Raymond; Tennison, S.R.; Cundy, Andrew.

In: Water Research, Vol. 61, 15.09.2014, p. 46-56.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Phenolic carbon tailored for the removal of polar organic contaminants from water: A solution to the metaldehyde problem?

AU - Busquets Santacana, Rosa

AU - Kozynchenko, O.P.

AU - Whitby, Raymond

AU - Tennison, S.R.

AU - Cundy, Andrew

N1 - © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

PY - 2014/9/15

Y1 - 2014/9/15

N2 - Current water treatment technologies are inefficient at treating water contaminated with metaldehyde, an 8-member cyclic tetramer of acetaldehyde widely used as a molluscicide in large-scale agriculture and in gardens, and which has been frequently observed to breach European regulatory limits in the UK due to its high solubility and frequent use. Here, we examine the controls on metaldehyde adsorption onto activated phenolic carbon, namely the influence of activation degree, pore size distribution, particle size, point of zero charge and surface functionalisation, by synthesising “tailored” carbons from phenolic resin. Metaldehyde adsorption has been found to be independent of specific surface area (S BET), which is highly unusual for an adsorption process, and is favoured in carbons with (a) high microporosity with narrow pore size distribution, (b) presence of mesopores which allow efficient diffusive transport, and (c) an absence of negatively charged functional groups. The maximum adsorption capacity of the phenolic resin-derived carbons, tested at an elevated (i.e. exceeding environmental levels) water concentration of 64 mg metaldehyde/ L, was 76 mg metaldehyde/g carbon compared with 13 mg metaldehyde/g carbon in industrial granular activated carbon (GAC). The phenolic resin-derived carbons and GAC showed similar adsorption kinetics with maximum metaldehyde uptake occurring within 30 min under batch adsorption conditions, although adsorption isotherms indicate much stronger adsorption of metaldehyde on the phenolic resin-derived carbons. Adsorption efficiency for metaldehyde was maintained even in the presence of high background concentrations of organic matter and inorganic salts, indicating the potential utility of these “designer” carbons in waste and/or drinking water treatment.

AB - Current water treatment technologies are inefficient at treating water contaminated with metaldehyde, an 8-member cyclic tetramer of acetaldehyde widely used as a molluscicide in large-scale agriculture and in gardens, and which has been frequently observed to breach European regulatory limits in the UK due to its high solubility and frequent use. Here, we examine the controls on metaldehyde adsorption onto activated phenolic carbon, namely the influence of activation degree, pore size distribution, particle size, point of zero charge and surface functionalisation, by synthesising “tailored” carbons from phenolic resin. Metaldehyde adsorption has been found to be independent of specific surface area (S BET), which is highly unusual for an adsorption process, and is favoured in carbons with (a) high microporosity with narrow pore size distribution, (b) presence of mesopores which allow efficient diffusive transport, and (c) an absence of negatively charged functional groups. The maximum adsorption capacity of the phenolic resin-derived carbons, tested at an elevated (i.e. exceeding environmental levels) water concentration of 64 mg metaldehyde/ L, was 76 mg metaldehyde/g carbon compared with 13 mg metaldehyde/g carbon in industrial granular activated carbon (GAC). The phenolic resin-derived carbons and GAC showed similar adsorption kinetics with maximum metaldehyde uptake occurring within 30 min under batch adsorption conditions, although adsorption isotherms indicate much stronger adsorption of metaldehyde on the phenolic resin-derived carbons. Adsorption efficiency for metaldehyde was maintained even in the presence of high background concentrations of organic matter and inorganic salts, indicating the potential utility of these “designer” carbons in waste and/or drinking water treatment.

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KW - Phenolic carbon

KW - Water treatment

KW - Wastewater

U2 - 10.1016/j.watres.2014.04.048

DO - 10.1016/j.watres.2014.04.048

M3 - Article

VL - 61

SP - 46

EP - 56

JO - Water Research

JF - Water Research

SN - 0043-1354

ER -