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J Environ Sci (China). 2011;23(6):1004-10.

Combining material characterization with single and multi-oxyanion adsorption for mechanistic study of chromate removal by cationic hydrogel.

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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, China.


Cationic hydrogel with magnetic property was synthesized via radical polymerization and its removal capacity of chromate from contaminated water was found to be 200 mg/g. Using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) study, the mechanism of chromate removal by hydrogel was found to be non-specific adsorption, mainly due to ion exchange, as evidenced by the positively charged functional group, trimethyl ammonium -N+(CH3)3, in the monomer. Verifications were accordingly determined by testing different oxyanion adsorption onto the hydrogel. The results of the chromate adsorption experiments illustrated that the amount of chromate adsorbed was nearly equal to that of the chloride released from the hydrogel, which is part of the evidence for ion exchange. Single and multi-oxyanion adsorption experiments were also performed, and it was demonstrated that ion removal was species independent, but charge dependent, another characteristic of the ion exchange process. It was found that the same Langmuir model can be applied to best fit the findings of single and multi-oxyanion adsorption, which further indicates the mechanism of chromate removal is attributed to ion exchange. In view of the above, the background anions compete for adsorption sites with chromate, evidenced by inhibitive chromate removal in the presence of background electrolytes in the batch studies, further echoing the ion exchange mechanism.

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