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Sorption of benzene derivatives onto insolubilized humic acids

Vincenzo Leone, Pasquale Iovino, Sante Capasso, Marco Trifuoggi, and Dino Musmarra

University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Caserta, Italy



Abstract: New environmental friendly sorption materials were synthesized and studied to remove organic contaminants in wastewater purification. Humic acids extracted from green-waste compost (HAcomp) and from leonardite (HAleo) were chemically characterized by infrared spectroscopy, carbon nitrogen and hydrogen analysis, ash content, hydrophobicity tests, and molecular weight distribution. Humic acids were thermally immobilized at 330 °C for 1.5 h and their sorbent properties towards of some benzene derivatives (toluene, o-xylene, phenol, and benzyl alcohol) with the batch equilibrium method were studied. HAcomp was found to be less rich in aromatic rings and more hydrophobic than HAleo. The maximum amount of sorbate bound at the equilibrium was consistently higher for the immobilized HA from compost than from leonardite and increased with the n-octanol/water partition coefficient of the adsorbate. The data point to hydrophobic interactions as the main force involved in the sorption of the compounds tested. The results showed that these materials can have potential applications in wastewater purification.

Keywords: Insolubilized humic acids ; Leonardite ; Compost ; Wastewater ; Hydrophobicity 

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-017-0337-y


Chemical Papers 72 (4) 929–935 (2018)

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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