A thermodynamic approach to assess organic solute adsorption onto activated carbon in water

David J. De Ridder, Arne R. D. Verliefde, Bas G J Heijman, Simon Gelin, Manuel Fernando Ribeiro Pereira, Raquel P. Rocha, José Luís M Figueiredo, Gary L. Amy, Hans C. Van Dijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In this paper, the hydrophobicity of 13 activated carbons is determined by various methods; water vapour adsorption, immersion calorimetry, and contact angle measurements. The quantity and type of oxygen-containing groups on the activated carbon were measured and related to the methods used to measure hydrophobicity. It was found that the water-activated carbon adsorption strength (based on immersion calorimetry, contact angles) depended on both type and quantity of oxygen-containing groups, while water vapour adsorption depended only on their quantity. Activated carbon hydrophobicity measurements alone could not be related to 1-hexanol and 1,3-dichloropropene adsorption. However, a relationship was found between work of adhesion and adsorption of these solutes. The work of adhesion depends not only on activated carbon-water interaction (carbon hydrophobicity), but also on solute-water (solute hydrophobicity) and activated carbon-solute interactions. Our research shows that the work of adhesion can explain solute adsorption and includes the effect of hydrogen bond formation between solute and activated carbon. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3774-3781
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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