Adsorption of alkaloids on ordered mesoporous carbon

Yin Li, Bin Yuan, Jie Fu, Shuguang Deng, Xiuyang Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


An ordered mesoporous carbon (OMC) adsorbent was synthesized, characterized, and evaluated for effective separation and purification of alkaloid compounds from aqueous solutions. The OMC adsorbent has a large BET specific surface area (1532.2 m2/g), large pore volume (2.13 cm3/g), and narrow pore diameter distribution with a median pore diameter of 4.21 nm. Berberine hydrochloride, colchicine, and matrine were selected as the model compounds for evaluating the adsorption properties of the OMC adsorbent for alkaloid purification. Batch adsorption experiments of pure components in water were carried out to measure both adsorption equilibria and kinetics, and column breakthrough and desorption experiments were performed to validate the separation and regeneration efficacy of the OMC adsorbent. The adsorption equilibrium capacities of berberine hydrochloride, colchicine, and matrine on the OMC adsorbent at 0.100 mg/L and 298 K are 450, 600, and 480 mg/g, respectively, which are more than double the adsorption capacities of these compounds on two commonly used commercial resins (HPD300 and HPD100B) at similar conditions. Adsorption equilibrium of all three alkaloids could be obtained within 120 min at 298 K. The dynamic adsorption capacities determined from the breakthrough experiments are within 12% of the estimated equilibrium capacities from the Langmuir isotherms; and 74.3-92.8% of the adsorbed amounts could be recovered by desorbing with a 70% alcohol solution. The adsorption isotherms are analyzed with both Langmuir and Freundlich models, the adsorption kinetic data with the pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models, and the breakthrough curves with four breakthrough models. The large adsorption capacity, fast adsorption rate, and easy regeneration make the ordered mesoporous carbon a promising adsorbent for adsorption and purification of alkaloid compounds from the extracts of herbal plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption
  • Alkaloids
  • Breakthrough
  • Equilibrium
  • Kinetics
  • Ordered mesoporous carbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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