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Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Removal from Water by Natural Fiber Sorption

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The use of two natural sorbents, kapok and cattail fibers, were investigated for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) removal from water. Naphthalene, acenaphthylene, acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, and fluoranthene were the PAHs studied. For comparative purposes, a commercial polyester fiber sorbent was included in the investigation. The PAH sorption and retention capabilities of the three fibers were determined through batch and continuous-flow experiments under noncompetitive and competitive conditions. In the batch experiments, cattail fiber was the most effective sorbent. Kapok fiber provided the lowest PAH retention, while cattail fiber had slightly less PAH retention than polyester fiber. When two PAHs were present in the same system, a competitive effect on the much less hydrophobic PAH was observed. Similar results were obtained in the column experiments, except that polyester fiber performed much poorer on naphthalene. Cattail fiber is a promising sorbent for treating PAH-contaminated water, such as urban runoff.
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Keywords: desorption; natural fibers; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; removal; sorption; urban runoff

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-08-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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