Sorbent Materials Characterization Based on Mechanical or Thermal Pretreated Montmorillonite Modified by Surfactant Loading for Improved Chromium Retention
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To improve hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) retention of montmorillonite (Mt) at pH 3, Mt sample was subjected to different treatments: thermal ones at 600 °C or 950 °C, 2 h, or mechanical grinding for 300 s. Then, the obtained products were loaded with different octadecyl trimethyl ammonium loading and 50% and 100% of Mt cation exchange capacity (CEC). The samples were characterized by several techniques at each stage. Differential thermogravimetric analysis (DTGA) performed on the products allowed determining the actual surfactant amount related to the internal or external surface by cation exchange and Van der Waals (VdW) mechanisms, respectively, taking into account the CEC of the thermal or mechanical pretreated Mt base sample used. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses revealed that the surfactant loading allowed the reversal of the collapsed interlayer after both treatments. The samples subjected to the thermal treatment at 600 °C and the raw Mt samples exhibit higher positive zeta potential values than the mechanical pretreated Mt ones with 100% of the CEC surfactant loaded at pH 3. This was directly related to the external surface covered by the surfactant. The agreement between the results of the surfactant coverage on the external surface and Cr(VI) removal at pH 3 indicates that the electrostatic mechanism is the main driving force for the sorption of Cr(VI). These synthesized sorbents achieve similar Cr(VI) retention using less than half the surfactant amount of already published studies.
KeywordsMontmorillonite Thermal and mechanical treatments Structure modification Chromium retention
This study received financial support from the Argentinian Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MINCyT) and the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion (ANPCyT), PICT-2014-0585. M.L. Montes, R.C. Mercader, G. Curutchetm and R.M. Torres Sanchez are members of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICET). C. Fernández Morantes and F. Yarza received support from the CONICET fellowship.
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