Inderscience Publishers

Removal mechanism of endosulfan sorption onto wood charcoal

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Endosulfan is among the most widely used pesticides in developing countries and other parts of the world and has been found to contaminate various parts of the environment, including drinking water sources. In an earlier study to find a suitable adsorbent to remove endosulfan, wood charcoal was found to give promising results. In the present study, the process controlling the rate of endosulfan sorption onto wood charcoal and the mechanism of removal were examined using various methodologies. Both film and pore diffusion coefficients were determined, and the linearity of the rate constants of adsorption with initial endosulfan concentrations revealed the process to be controlled by film diffusion. This was supported by the linear fit of the rate constants with the inverse of the diameter of adsorbent particles and the change in adsorption rates with agitation speed. Multiple interruption tests also revealed that endosulfan sorption onto wood charcoal is controlled by film diffusion. The increase in reaction rate constant with temperature and isosteric heat of adsorption in the range of -2.655 to 5.185 kcal/mol implied that the endosulfan removal process was endothermic in nature. The activation energy of 2.33 kcal/mol, which was less than 12 kcal/mol, revealed that the removal mechanism could be attributed to physisorption with a major contribution of van der Waals and electrostatic forces.

Keywords: activation energy, adsorption, endosulfan, film diffusion, isosteric heat, physisorption, pore diffusion, rate-limiting step, pesticide contamination

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