Microchimica Acta

, Volume 173, Issue 1–2, pp 111–117 | Cite as

Comparative study of 17β-estradiol removal from aqueous solutions using pine bark and almond shell as adsorbents

  • Fernando G. Braga
  • Sandra Pinto
  • Maria Cristina G. Antunes
Original Paper


We have investigated the adsorption of the endocrine disruptor 17ß-estradiol (E2) on pine bark and almond shell. These traditional Portuguese agro-forestry by-products were milled, sieved into different particle size fractions and submitted to two different kinds of treatment. Adsorption experiments were conducted in batch system at room temperature and at pH 4.75 and 6.80, respectively, for pine bark and almond shell. E2 was more effectively adsorbed on 100 to 150 μm particles of both sorbents. Pine bark washed with hot water and pine bark treated with formaldehyde showed higher percentage of adsorption than any other material tested at doses of 5.0 g L−1. The adsorption was of comparable efficiency in case of almond shells at doses of around 20 g L−1. In this case, the percentage of adsorption was found to be 88 and 90% for the sorbents treated with formaldehyde or washed with hot water. The adsorption isotherms were found to fit a Freundlich equation, with correlation coefficients (R2) between 0.904 and 0.998. The sorption coefficient (KF) ranged from 0.03 to 29.9 (mg1−1/n L1/n g−1). The differences observed among the adsorption capacities are discussed in terms of physico-chemical characterization of the materials.


(a) % adsorption as function of pine bark mass. pH = 4.75, [E2] = 1.0 mg L-1 for P(+), P(-), Pw(+) and Pt(+), [E2] = 3.0 mg L-1 for Pw(-) and Pt(-), solution volume: 50 mL, 25°C, contact time: 72 hours (b) % adsorption as function of almond shell mass. pH = 6.80, [E2] = 1.0 mg L -1 for all sorbents, solution volume: 50 mL, 25°C, contact time: 72 hours


17β-Estradiol Adsorption Pine bark Almond shell 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of FCT (Fundação da Ciência e Tecnologia). We also thank the referees for their critical reading of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

604_2010_531_MOESM1_ESM.doc (131 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 131 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando G. Braga
    • 1
  • Sandra Pinto
    • 1
  • Maria Cristina G. Antunes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and CQVRUniversidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila RealPortugal

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