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Selective Removal of Some Polyhydric Phenols from Aqueous Solution by Ferric Antimonate

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Ferric antimonate, a cation-exchanger, has been investigated as an adsorbent for the removal of phenol and polyhydric phenols from aqueous solution. It has been found that ferric antimonate in H+ form selectively adsorbs polyhydric phenols having hydroxyl groups on adjacent positions. While phenol, resorcinol, and quinol did not show any appreciable adsorption, catechol, pyrogallol, and gallic acid having hydroxyl groups on adjacent positions exhibited considerable adsorption on ferric antimonate. Batch equilibrium experiments were carried out to study the effect of contact time, initial concentration of phenolic compounds, and temperature on the adsorption of phenolic compounds on ferric antimonate. The equilibrium time was found to be 1.5 hours for gallic acid and pyrogallol and 2 hours for catechol and salicylic acid. The adsorption data of the phenols at temperatures of 30°, 40°, and 50 °C have been described by Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. The best fit was obtained with the Langmuir model in the whole range of concentrations studied at all temperatures, indicating a monolayer adsorption onto a homogeneous adsorption surface. On the basis of the Langmuir isotherm, the maximum adsorption capacity of ferric antimonate for gallic acid, pyrogallol, catechol, and salicylic acid was found to be 3.915, 3.734, 2.397, and 2.758 mg/g, respectively at 30 °C. The maximum sorption capacity of ferric antimonate for the phenolic compounds studied is in the following order: gallic acid > pyrogallol > salicylic acid > catechol. The adsorption of phenolic compounds was found to decrease with an increase in temperature. Thermodynamic parameters like free energy, enthalpy, and entropy changes were calculated and discussed. The adsorption of polyhydric phenols on ferric antimonate is exothermic and spontaneous in nature.

Keywords: Langmuir isotherm; adsorption; ferric antimonate; polyhydric phenols

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-05-01

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  • 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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