Sorptive removal of dissolved organic matter in biologically-treated effluent by functionalized biochar and carbon nanotubes: Importance of sorbent functionality

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Journal Article
Bioresource Technology, 2018, 269 pp. 9 - 17
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd The sorptive removal of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in biologically-treated effluent was studied by using multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT), carboxylic functionalised MWCNT (MWCNT-COOH), hydroxyl functionalized MWCNT (MWCNT-OH) and functionalized biochar (fBC). DOM was dominated by hydrophilic fraction (79.6%) with a significantly lower hydrophobic fraction (20.4%). The sorption of hydrophobic DOM was not significantly affected by the sorbent functionality (∼10.4% variation) and sorption capacity followed the order of MWCNT > MWCNT-COOH > MWCNT-OH > fBC. In comparison, the sorption of hydrophilic fraction of DOM changed significantly (∼37.35% variation) with the change of sorbent functionality with adsorption capacity decreasing as MWCNT-OH > MWCNT-COOH > MWCNT > fBC. Furthermore, the affinity of adsorbents toward a hydrophilic compound (dinitrobenzene), a hydrophobic compound (pyrene) and humic acid was also evaluated to validate the proposed mechanisms. The results provided important insights on the type of sorbents which are most effective to remove different DOM fractions.
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