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Influence of the Surface Structure of Graphene Oxide on the Adsorption of Aromatic Organic Compounds from Water

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2015, 00:00 by Han Yan, Hu Wu, Kun Li, Yawen Wang, Xue Tao, Hu Yang, Aimin Li, Rongshi Cheng
In this work, graphene oxide (GO) has been employed as an efficient adsorbent for the removal of three aromatic organic compounds (AOCs), namely, aniline, nitrobenzene, and chlorobenzene, from water under various initial AOC concentrations and pH levels. Based on the characteristics of surface structures of GO, a simple semiquantitative model has been provided to describe the intrinsic adsorption behavior of GO to AOCs. Accordingly, the adsorption mechanism has been discussed in detail at molecular levels. The contribution coefficients derived from the proposed model indicate that the most preferential interactions between GO and AOCs are hydrophobic interactions (π–π stacking and hydrophobic effect) that occur on graphitic zones of GO (unoxidized region). In the oxidized region, there also exist the hydrophobic interactions on sp2 clusters, although they may be hindered by surrounding sp3 zones which are the most unfavorable and are only accessible to AOCs through hydrogen bonding or electrostatic effects. More interestingly, aniline exhibits the highest contribution coefficients in both hydrophobic and hydrophilic zones of GO among the three measured AOCs due to its good water solubility and facile formation of hydrogen bonds. Furthermore, the analytical results of the adsorption isotherms are also fully consistent with those from the proposed model.