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Understanding and Modeling Removal of Anionic Organic Contaminants (AOCs) by Anion Exchange Resins

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journal contribution
posted on 01.07.2014, 00:00 authored by Huichun Zhang, Anthony J. Shields, Nastaran Jadbabaei, Maurice Nelson, Bingjun Pan, Rominder P.S. Suri
Ionic organic contaminants (OCs) are a growing concern for water treatment and the environment and are removed inefficiently by many existing technologies. This study examined removal of anionic OCs by anion exchange resins (AXRs) as a promising alternative. Results indicate that two polystyrene AXRs (IRA910 and IRA96) have higher sorption capacities and selectivity than a polyacrylate resin (A860). For the polystyrene resins, selectivity follows: phenolates ≥ aromatic dicarboxylates > aromatic monocarboxylates > benzenesulfonate > aliphatic carboxylates. This trend can be explained based on hydration energy, the number of exchange groups, and aromaticity and hydrophobicity of the nonpolar moiety (NPM) of the anions. For A860, selectivity only varies within a narrow range (0.13–1.64). Despite the importance of the NPM of the anions, neutral solutes were sorbed much less, indicating synergistic combinations of electrostatic and nonelectrostatic interactions in the overall sorption. By conducting multiple linear regression between Abraham’s descriptors and nature log of selectivity, induced dipole-related interactions and electrostatic interactions were found to be the most important interaction forces for sorption of the anions, while solute H-bond basicity has a negative effect. A predictive model was then developed for carboxylates and phenolates based on the poly parameter linear free energy relationships established for a diverse range of 16 anions and 5 neutral solutes, and was validated by accurate prediction of sorption of five test solutes within a wide range of equilibrium concentrations and that of benzoate at different pH.