Journal of colloid and interface science

Adsorption of a cationic surfactant by a magsorbent based on magnetic alginate beads.

PMID 25086393


Adsorption of cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), a cationic surfactant, by magnetic alginate beads (MagAlgbeads) was investigated. The magnetic adsorbent (called magsorbent) was prepared by encapsulation of magnetic functionalized nanoparticles in an alginate gel. The influence on CPC adsorption of several parameters such as contact time, pH and initial surfactant concentration was studied. The equilibrium isotherm shows that adsorption occurs through both electrostatic interactions with charge neutralization of the carboxylate groups of the beads and hydrophobic interactions inducing the formation of surfactant aggregates in the beads. The dosage of calcium ions released in the solution turns out to be a useful tool for understanding the adsorption mechanisms. Adsorption is accompanied by a shrinking of the beads that corresponds to a 45% reduction of the volume. Adsorption kinetic experiments show that equilibrium time is strongly dependent on the surfactant concentration, which monitors the nature of the interactions. On the other hand, since the pH affects the ionization state of adsorption sites, adsorption depends on the pH solution, maximum adsorption being obtained in a large pH range (3.2-12) in agreement with the pKa value of alginate (pKa=3.4-4.2). Finally, due to the formation of micelle-like surfactants aggregates in the magnetic alginate beads, they could be used as a new efficient magsorbent for hydrophobic pollutants.