Adsorption kinetics and thermodynamics of hydrophobic natural organic matter (NOM) removal from aqueous solution by multi-wall carbon nanotubes

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The objective of this research was to study the efficiency of Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) for the adsorption of hydrophobic natural organic matter (NOM) from aqueous solution under different operational conditions of contact time, pH, initial concentration of NOM and temperature. MWCNTs were synthesized via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) with average diameter of 10–50 nm. The results illustrated that both as-prepared and functionalized MWCNTs showed high adsorption capacity for the NOM studied. Functionalization of MWCNT affected the surface area and introduced oxygen-containing functional groups to the surface of MWCNT which depressed the adsorption of NOM onto MWCNTs-COOH. The obtained data were studied using Freundlich, Langmuir and BET isotherms; NOM adsorption data had the best conformity to the Freundlich isotherm. Kinetic studies were performed and the adsorption kinetics successfully followed the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. Thermodynamic parameters such as free energy change (ΔG°), enthalpy change (ΔH°) and entropy change (ΔS°) were determined and evaluation of them showed that the adsorption process for NOM is general spontaneous, endothermic and thermodynamically favorable.

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