An Innovative Porous Nanocomposite Material for the Removal of Phenolic Compounds from Aqueous Solutions

Antonio Turco, Anna Grazia Monteduro, Elisabetta Mazzotta, Giuseppe Maruccio, Cosimino Malitesta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Energy efficient, low-cost, user-friendly, and green methods for the removal of toxic phenolic compounds from aqueous solution are necessary for waste treatment in industrial applications. Herein we present an interesting approach for the utilization of oxidized carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in the removal of phenolic compounds from aqueous solution. Dried pristine CNTs were stably incorporated in a solid porous support of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) facilitating the handling during both oxidation process of the nanomaterial and uptake of phenolic compounds, and enabling their safe disposal, avoiding expensive post-treatment processes. The adsorption studies indicated that the materials can efficiently remove phenolic compounds from water with different affinities towards different phenolic compounds. Furthermore, the adsorption kinetics and isotherms were studied in detail. The experimental data of adsorption fitted well with Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms, and pseudo-second-order kinetics, and the results indicated that the adsorption process was controlled by a two-step intraparticle diffusion model. The incorporation of CNTs in polymeric matrices did not affect their functionality in phenol uptake. The material was also successfully used for the removal of phenolic compounds from agricultural waste, suggesting its possible application in the treatment of wastewater. Moreover, the surface of the material could be regenerated, decreasing treatment costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334
Number of pages18
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 16 2018


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