Competitive effects of humic acid and wastewater on adsorption of Methylene Blue dye by activated carbon and non-imprinted polymers

Audrey Murray , Banu Örmeci


Received January 04, 2017,Revised April 17, 2017, Accepted April 26, 2017, Available online May 09, 2017

Volume 30,2018,Pages 310-317

Natural organic matter (NOM), present in natural waters and wastewater, decreases adsorption of micropollutants, increasing treatment costs. This research investigated mechanisms of competition for non-imprinted polymers (NIPs) and activated carbon with humic acid and wastewater. Three different types of activated carbons (Norit PAC 200, Darco KB-M, and Darco S-51) were used for comparison with the NIP. The lower surface area and micropore to mesopore ratio of the NIP led to decreased adsorption capacity in comparison to the activated carbons. In addition, experiments were conducted for single-solute adsorption of Methylene Blue (MB) dye, simultaneous adsorption with humic acid and wastewater, and pre-loading with humic acid and wastewater followed by adsorption of MB dye using NIP and Norit PAC 200. Both the NIP and PAC 200 showed significant decreases of 27% for NIP (p = 0.087) and 29% for PAC 200 (p = 0.096) during simultaneous exposure to humic acid and MB dye. There was no corresponding decrease for NIP or PAC 200 pre-loaded with humic acid and then exposed to MB. In fact, for PAC 200, the adsorption capacity of the activated carbon increased when it was pre-loaded with humic acid by 39% (p = 0.0005). For wastewater, the NIP showed no significant increase or decrease in adsorption capacity during either simultaneous exposure or pre-loading. The adsorption capacity of PAC 200 increased by 40% (p = 0.001) for simultaneous exposure to wastewater and MB. Pre-loading with wastewater had no effect on MB adsorption by PAC 200.

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