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Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering >> 2015, Volume 9, Issue 2 doi: 10.1007/s11705-015-1517-3

Functionalized activated carbon for the adsorptive removal of perchlorate from water solutions

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA

Accepted: 2015-06-19 Available online: 2015-07-14

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Two types of activated carbon, namely, Filtrasorb 400 and Nuchar SA, were functionalized by quaternary ammonium salts (quats), as to enhance perchlorate adsorption. Results showed that the adsorption of quats on Nuchar SA increased with increase in chain length (hydrophobicity) of quats. Filtrasorb 400, however, had limited uptake of long-chain quats such as dodecyltrimethylammonium and hexadecyltrimethylammoium (HDTMA). Results indicated that perchlorate removal by the functionalized activated carbon was directly related to the chain length of the modifying quats. Perchlorate removal by functionalized activated carbon increased with increase in chain length of the modifying quats and became less pH-dependent. Modified Nuchar SA had higher overall perchlorate removal capacity than the modified Filtrasorb F400, but was more strongly affected by pH than Filtrasorb 400. Activated carbon treated with HDTMA exhibited the best perchlorate removal capacity among all quats studied. Results indicated that tailoring the activated carbon surface with HDTMA rendered the activated carbon surface positively charged, which resulted in substantial increase in perchlorate removal compared to unfunctionalized activated carbons.

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