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Specific adsorption of cadmium on surface-engineered biocompatible organoclay under metal-phenanthrene mixed-contamination

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Water Research
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)119-127
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Bioremediation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is extremely challenging when they coexist with heavy metals. This constrain has led to adsorption-based techniques that help immobilize the metals and reduce toxicity. However, the adsorbents can also non-selectively bind the organic compounds, which reduces their bioavailability. In this study we developed a surface-engineered organoclay (Arquad ® 2HT-75-bentonite-palmitic acid) which enhanced bacterial proliferation and adsorbed cadmium, but elevated phenanthrene bioavailability. Adsorption models of single and binary solutes revealed that the raw bentonite adsorbed cadmium and phenanthrene non-selectively at the same binding sites and sequestrated phenanthrene. In contrast, cadmium selectively bound to the deprotonated state of carboxyl groups in the organoclay and phenanthrene on the outer surface of the adsorbent led to a microbially congenial microenvironment with a higher phenanthrene bioavailability. This study provided valuable information which would be highly important for developing a novel clay-modulated bioremediation technology for cleaning up PAHs under mixed-contaminated situations.