Adsorption kinetics and aggregation for three classes of carbonaceous adsorbents in the presence of natural organic matter

Gamze Ersan, Yasemin Kaya, Mahmut S. Ersan, Onur G. Apul, Tanju Karanfil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


In this study, adsorption kinetics of phenanthrene (PNT)and trichloroethylene (TCE)by a graphene nanosheet (GNS), a graphene oxide nanosheet (GO), a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT), a multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT), and two coal based activated carbons (ACs)(F400 and HD3000)were examined in distilled and deionized water (DDW)and under natural organic matter (NOM)preloading conditions. The results showed the times needed for the adsorption of PNT and TCE to reach apparent equilibrium (i.e., ≤3% change per day)followed the order of GO ≥ MWCNT > GNS > SWCNT ∼ HD3000∼F400 and SWCNT > GNS ∼ HD3000 > F400 ∼ MWCNT > GO, respectively. The pseudo second order model successfully represented kinetics data for three classes of carbonaceous adsorbents. The Weber-Morris intraparticle diffusion model indicated three steps adsorption process for PNT and two step adsorption for TCE. In addition, the times needed to reach apparent equilibrium for the adsorption of PNT and TCE in the presence of hydrophobic (HPO)and hydrophilic (HPI)NOM solutions increased for all adsorbents (except for GO). In general, both NOM showed similar impacts on the adsorption rates of PNT and TCE. Aggregation of both GNS and CNTs rapidly occurred during initial couple hours of contact time during preloading, and spiking both PNT and TCE further increased their aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)515-524
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption kinetics
  • Aggregation
  • Carbonaceous materials
  • Natural organic matter
  • Organic compounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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