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Influence of Environmental Factors on Pesticide Adsorption by Black Carbon: pH and Model Dissolved Organic Matter

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journal contribution
posted on 01.07.2009, 00:00 by Yuping Qiu, Xiaoyu Xiao, Haiyan Cheng, Zunlong Zhou, G. Daniel Sheng
Loading two organic acids of known molecular structures onto a black carbon was conducted to study the influence of pH and dissolved organic matter on the adsorption of pesticides. Tannic acid at the loading rates of 100 and 300 μmol/g reduced the surface area of black carbon by 18 and 63%, respectively. This was due principally to the blockage of micropores, as verified by measured pore volumes and pore-size distributions. With a comparatively much smaller molecular structure, gallic acid did not apparently influence these properties. The intrinsic acidities of the two acids increased the surface acidity from 1.88 mmol/g of black carbon to 1.93−2.02 mmol/g after DOM loading, resulting in a reduction in isoelectric point pH from 1.93 to 1.66−1.82. The adsorption of propanil, 2,4-D and prometon by black carbon free and loaded of DOM was dependent on pH because major adsorptive forces were the interactions between neutral pesticide molecules and uncharged carbon surfaces. The adsorption was diminished considerably by the deprotonation of 2,4-D and protonation of prometon, as well as the surface charge change of black carbon. Tannic acid of 100 and 300 μmol/g on black carbon reduced the pesticide adsorption at the equilibrium concentration of 10 mg/L by an average of 46 and 81%, respectively, consistent with the reductions of 42 and 81% in micropore volume. At the equilibrium concentration of 30 mg/L, the mesopore surface became the additional adsorptive domain for propanil. Loading tannic acid made the mesopore surface less accessible, due presumably to the enhanced obstruction by tannic acid.