Magnetic activated carbon as a sustainable solution for removal of micropollutants from water

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


A new hydrothermal method was developed to prepare magnetic activated carbon nanocomposite to remove six micropollutants (Triclosan, Bisphenol-A, Tonalide, Metolachlor, Ketoprofen and Estriol) from water. These emerging pollutants are mainly coming from anthropogenic sources. Results indicated that the synthesized magnetic activated carbon was successfully used as a separable adsorbent for removing the micropollutants from water. Adsorption results were modeled by Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms, which showed a better fit of data to the Langmuir model. The adsorbent showed good adsorption performance in which Bisphenol-A and Tonalide were the most effectively removed compounds, with 96 and 93% removal using 0.35 mg of the adsorbent within 40 min in a 50-mL sealed glass vial, respectively. Sedimentation studies were performed to compare the settleability of the adsorbent with powdered activated carbon revealing the superiority of the adsorbent. Thermodynamics of the adsorption of the micropollutants onto the magnetic activated carbon showed the adsorption process was endothermic and spontaneous. Adsorbent regeneration studies were performed with methanol, ethanol, HCl, NaOH and H2O2 in five regeneration cycles. Methanol treatment ensured the highest level of restoration. Overall, the adsorbent can be used as a sustainable treatment to remove studied micropollutants from aqueous solutions.

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International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology