Chemical Papers

, Volume 72, Issue 4, pp 929–935 | Cite as

Sorption of benzene derivatives onto insolubilized humic acids

  • Vincenzo Leone
  • Pasquale Iovino
  • Sante Capasso
  • Marco Trifuoggi
  • Dino Musmarra
Original Paper


New environmental friendly sorption materials were synthesized and studied to remove organic contaminants in wastewater purification. Humic acids extracted from green-waste compost (HAcomp) and from leonardite (HAleo) were chemically characterized by infrared spectroscopy, carbon nitrogen and hydrogen analysis, ash content, hydrophobicity tests, and molecular weight distribution. Humic acids were thermally immobilized at 330 °C for 1.5 h and their sorbent properties towards of some benzene derivatives (toluene, o-xylene, phenol, and benzyl alcohol) with the batch equilibrium method were studied. HAcomp was found to be less rich in aromatic rings and more hydrophobic than HAleo. The maximum amount of sorbate bound at the equilibrium was consistently higher for the immobilized HA from compost than from leonardite and increased with the n-octanol/water partition coefficient of the adsorbate. The data point to hydrophobic interactions as the main force involved in the sorption of the compounds tested. The results showed that these materials can have potential applications in wastewater purification.


Insolubilized humic acids Leonardite Compost Wastewater Hydrophobicity 


  1. Aiken GR, Hsu-Kim H, Ryan JN (2011) Influence of dissolved organic matter on the environmental fate of metals, nanoparticles, and colloids. Environ Sci Technol 45:3196–3201. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Allard B (2006) A comparative study on the chemical composition of humic acids from forest soil, agricultural soil and lignite deposit: bound lipid, carbohydrate and amino acid distributions. Geoderma 130:77–96. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Balcke GU, Georgi A, Woszidlo S, Kopinke F-D, Poerschmann J (2005) Utilization of immobilized humic organic matter for in-situ subsurface remediation. In: Perminova et al (ed) Use of humic substances to remediate polluted environments: from theory to practice, Springer, Netherlands, pp 203–232.
  4. Chen Y, Chefetz B, Hadar Y (1996) Formation and properties of humic substance originating from composts. In: M de Bertoldi, P Sequi, B Lemmes and T Papi (eds) The science of composting. Blackie Academic & Professional, Glasgow, pp 382–393.
  5. Erto A, Andreozzi R, Di Natale F, Lancia A, Musmarra D (2009) Experimental and isotherm-models analysis on TCE and PCE adsorption onto activated carbon. Chem Eng Trans 17:293–298. Google Scholar
  6. Graziano G (2004) Aliphatics vs. aromatics hydration thermodynamics. Biophys Chem 110:249–258. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Huang Q, Vinh-Thang H, Malekian A, Eic M, Trong-On D, Kaliaguine S (2006) Adsorption of n-heptane, toluene and o-xylene on mesoporous UL-ZSM5 materials. Microporous Mesoporous Mater 87:224–234. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Iovino P, Canzano S, Capasso S, Natale MD, Erto A, Lama A, Musmarra D (2013) Single and competitive adsorption of toluene and naphthalene onto activated carbon. Chem Eng Trans 32:67–72Google Scholar
  9. Iovino P, Leone V, Salvestrini S, Capasso S (2015a) Sorption of non-ionic organic pollutants onto immobilized humic acid. Desalin Water Treat 56(1):55–62. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Iovino P, Canzano S, Capasso S, Erto A, Musmarra D (2015b) A modeling analysis for the assessment of ibuprofen adsorption mechanism onto activated carbons. Chem Eng J 277:360–367. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jiménez EI, Garcia VP (1989) Evaluation of city refuse compost maturity: a review. Biol Wastes 27(2):115–142. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Joo JC, Shackelford CD, Reardon KF (2008) Sorption of nonpolar neutral organic compounds to humic acid coated sands: Contributions of organic and mineral components. Chemosphere 70:1290–1297. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Leone V, Canzano S, Iovino P, Capasso S (2012) Sorption of humic acids by a zeolite-feldspar-bearing tuff in batch and fixed-bed column. J Porous Mater 19(4):449–453. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Leone V, Canzano S, Iovino P, Salvestrini S, Capasso S (2013) A novel organo-zeolite adduct for environmental applications: Sorption of phenol. Chemosphere 91:415–420. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Leone V, Iovino P, Salvestrini S, Capasso S (2014) Sorption of non-ionic organic pollutants onto a humic acids-zeolitic tuff adduct: thermodynamic aspects. Chemosphere 95:75–80. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Leone V, Iovino P, Salvestrini S, Coppola E, Capasso S (2017) Thermodynamics of clay minerals-humic acids interaction. Adv Sci Lett 23(6):5859–5861. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li C, Berns AE, Schäffer A, Séquaris JM, Vereecken H, Ji R, Klumpp E (2011) Effect of structural composition of humic acids on the sorption of a branched nonylphenol isomer. Chemosphere 84(4):409–414. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lin S-H, Juang R-S (2009) Adsorption of phenol and its derivatives from water using synthetic resins and low-cost natural adsorbents: a review. J Environ Manage 90:1336–1349. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pacheco ML, Penna-Meendez EM, Havel J (2003) Supramolecular interactions of humic acids with organic and inorganic xenobiotics studied by capillary electrophoresis. Chemosphere 51:95–108. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Piccolo A (2001) The supramolecular structure oh humic substances. Soil Sci 166:810–832. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Polak J, Bartoszek M, Zadło M, Kos A (2011) The spectroscopic studies of humic acid extracted from sediment collected at different seasons. Chemosphere 84:1548–1555. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Salvestrini S, Canzano S, Iovino P, Leone V, Capasso S (2014a) Modeling the biphasic sorption of simazine, imidacloprid, and boscalid in water/soil systems. J Environ Sci Health B 49(8):578–590. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Salvestrini S, Leone V, Iovino P, Canzano S, Capasso S (2014b) Considerations about the correct evaluation of sorption thermodynamic parameters from equilibrium isotherms. J Chem Thermodyn 68:310–316. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sangster J (1989) Octanol–water partition coefficients of simple organic compounds. J Phys Chem Ref Data 18:1111–1229. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Seki H, Suzuki A (1995) Adsorption of heavy metal ions onto immobilized humic acid. J Colloid Interface Sci 171:490–494. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Silverstein RM, Webster FX, Kiemle DJ, Bryce L (2014) Spectrometric identification of organic compounds, 8th edn. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  27. Tang WW, Zeng G, Gong JL, Lang J, Xu P, Zhang C, Huang BB (2014) Impact of humic/fulvic acid on the removal of heavy metals from aqueous solutions using nanomaterials: a review. Sci Total Environ 468–469:1014–1027. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Tinoco I, JrK Sauer, Wang JC, Puglisi JD, Harbison G, Rovnyak D (2013) Physical chemistry: principles and applications in biological sciences, 5th edn. Prentice Hall, Englewood CliffsGoogle Scholar
  29. Wang S, Mulligan CN (2006) Effect of natural organic matter on arsenic release from soils and sediments into groundwater. Environ Geochem Health 28:197–214. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zhao N, Lu YZ, Li GJ (2013) Characterization and three-dimensional structural modeling of humic acid via molecular mechanics and molecular dynamic simulation. Chem Res Chin Univ 29(6):1180–1184. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and TechnologiesUniversity of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”CasertaItaly
  2. 2.Environmental Technologies, University Spin Off of University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”CasertaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Chemical SciencesUniversity of Naples “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  4. 4.Department of Civil Engineering, Design, Construction and EnvironmentUniversity of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”AversaItaly

Personalised recommendations