Journal of colloid and interface science

Adsorption of BTX (benzene, toluene, o-xylene, and p-xylene) from aqueous solutions by modified periodic mesoporous organosilica.

PMID 21868024


The capacity of a periodic mesoporous organosilica (PMO) to adsorb the aromatic compounds benzene, toluene, o-, and p-xylenes (BTX), which are usually present in produced waters, was investigated under both column and batch processes. The PMO was synthesized by condensation of 1,4 bis(triethoxisilyl)benzene (BTEB) under acidic conditions by using structure-directing agent (SDA) Pluronic P123 in the presence of KCl. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that the presence of the surfactant decreases the thermal stability of the PMO. The small-angle X-ray diffraction pattern, as well as the nitrogen adsorption/desorption isotherm measurements, revealed that the synthesized material has a crystalline structure, with hexagonally-ordered cylindrical mesopores. The adsorption kinetics study indicated an adsorption equilibrium time of 50 min and also showed that the data best fitted the pseudo-first order kinetic model. The intraparticle diffusion model was also tested and pointed to the occurrence of such process in all cases. Both Langmuir and Temkin models best represented the adsorption isotherms of toluene; Langmuir and Redlich-Peterson models best represented the data obtained for the other compounds. Adsorption capacity decreases in the order benzene>o-xylene>p-xylene>toluene. Satisfactory results were observed in the application of the synthesized PMO for the removal of BTX from aqueous solution.