Removal of estrone and 17ß-estradiol from water by adsorption

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Journal Article
Water research, 2005, 39 (16), pp. 3991 - 4003
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Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are the focus of current environment concern, as they can cause adverse health effects in an intact organism, or its progeny, subsequent to endocrine function. The paper reports on the removal of estrone (E1) and 17ß-estradiol (E2) from water through the use of various adsorbents including granular activated carbon (GAC), chitin, chitosan, ion exchange resin and a carbonaceous adsorbent prepared from industrial waste. The results show that the kinetics of adsorption were adsorbent and compound-dependent, with equilibration being reached within 2 h for a waste-derived carbonaceous adsorbent to 71 h for an ion-exchange resin for E1, and within 7 h for the waste-derived carbonaceous adsorbent to 125 h for GAC for E2. Of all the adsorbents tested, the carbonaceous adsorbent showed the highest adsorption capacity, with a maximum adsorption constant of 87500 ml/g for E1 and 116000 ml/g for E2. The GAC also had a very high adsorption capacity for the two compounds, with a maximum adsorption constant of 9290 ml/g for E1 and 12200 ml/g for E2. The effects of some fundamental environmental parameters including adsorbent concentration, pH, salinity and the presence of humic acid and surfactant on adsorption were studied. The results show that adsorption capacity of activated carbon was decreased with an increase in adsorbent concentration and by the presence of surfactant and humic acid. The results have demonstrated excellent performance of a waste derived adsorbent in removing E1 and E2 from water, and indicated the potential of converting certain solid waste into useful adsorbents for pollution-control purposes.
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