Relation between interfacial energy and adsorption of organic micropollutants onto activated carbon

David J. De Ridder, Arne R. D. Verliefde, K. Schoutteten, Bart Th Van Der Linden, Sebastiaan G J Heijman, Isabelle Beurroies, Renaud O. Denoyel, Gary L. Amy, Johannis C. Van Dijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The adsorption efficacy of 16 pharmaceuticals on six different activated carbons is correlated to the thermodynamic work of adhesion, which was derived following the surface tension component approach. Immersion calorimetry was used to determine the surface tension components of activated carbon, while contact angle measurements on compressed plates were used to determine these for solutes. We found that the acid-base surface tension components of activated carbon correlated to the activated carbon oxygen content. Solute-water interaction correlated well to their solubility, although four solutes deviated from the trend. In the interaction between solute and activated carbon, van der Waals interactions were dominant and explained 65-94% of the total interaction energy, depending on the hydrophobicity of the activated carbon and solute. A reasonable relationship (r2 > 70) was found between the calculated work of adhesion and the experimentally determined activated carbon loading. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-160
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: This research is financially supported by VEWIN, the association of drinking water companies in the Netherlands. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the supporting organisation.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


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