Removal of Trichloroethylene by Activated Carbon in the Presence and Absence of TiO2 Nanoparticles
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Nanoparticles (NPs) are emerging as a new type of contaminant in water and wastewater. The fate of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2NPs) in a granular activated carbon (GAC) adsorber and their impact on the removal of trichloroethylene (TCE) was investigated. Key parameters governing the TiO2NP–GAC interaction such as specific surface area (SSA), zeta potential, and the TiO2NP particle size distribution (PSD) were determined. The impact of TiO2NPs on TCE adsorption on GAC was tested by conducting TCE adsorption isotherm, kinetic, and column breakthrough studies in the presence and absence of TiO2NPs. SSA and pore size distribution of the virgin and spent GAC were obtained. The fate and transport of the TiO2NPs in the GAC fixed bed and their impact on TCE adsorption were found to be a function of their zeta potential, concentration, PSD, and the nature of their aggregation. The TiO2NPs under investigation are not stable in water and rapidly form larger aggregates. Due to the fast adsorption kinetics of TCE, the isotherm and kinetic studies found no effect from TiO2NPs. However, TiO2NPs attached to GAC and led to a reduction in the amount of TCE adsorbed during the breakthrough experiments suggesting a preloading pore blockage phenomenon. The analysis of the used GAC confirmed the pore blockage and SSA reduction.
KeywordsActivated carbon Adsorption Nanoparticles Trichloroethylene
This work was partially supported under Contract No. EP-C-04-034–Work Assignment No. 0-03 from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (Office of Research and Development) to Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc. and by the Cooperative Agreement CR-8 3454201 between the US Environmental Protection Agency and the University of Cincinnati.
Conflict of Interest
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, through its Office of Research and Development, funded and managed, or partially funded and collaborated in, the research described herein. It has been subjected to the Agency’s administrative review and has been approved for external publication. Any opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency; therefore, no official endorsement should be inferred. Any mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.
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