Removal of arsenate and 17α-ethinyl estradiol (EE2) by iron (hydr)oxide modified activated carbon fibers

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Activated carbon fibers (ACF) were modified with iron (hydr)oxide and studied to determine their suitability to remove arsenate and 17α-ethinyl estradiol (EE2) from water. Two synthesis methods, one involving aqueous KMnO4 pretreatment followed by Fe(II) treatment, and the other involving reaction with Fe(III) in an organic solvent followed by NaOH treatment, were used to produce modified ACF media containing 5.9% and 8.4% iron by dry weight, respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Electron dispersion X-ray (EDX) techniques indicated slightly higher iron content near the outer edges of the fibers. Pseudo-equilibrium batch test experimental data at pH = 7.0 ± 0.1 in 5 mM NaHCO3 buffered ultrapure water containing ∼100 μg(As)/L and ∼500 μgEE2/L were fitted with the Freundlich isotherm model (q = K × CE1/n). The adsorption capacity parameters (K) were ∼2586 (μgAs/gFe)(L/μgAs)1/n and ∼425 (μgAs/gFe)(L/μgAs)1/n), respectively, for the KMnO4/Fe(II) and Fe(III)/NaOH treated media. The KMnO4/Fe(II) media exhibited a lower adsorption capacity at 99% EE2 removal than did the Fe(III)/NaOH treated media (1.3 mgEE2/g -dry -media vs. 1.8 mgEE2/g -dry -media). The arsenate adsorption intensity parameters (1/n) for both modified ACF media were < 0.29, implying very favorable adsorption, which suggests that this type of media may be suitable for single point -of -use applications in which arsenic and organic co-contaminants require simultaneous removal and the depth of the packed bed is the key factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-361
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Activated carbon fibers
  • Adsorption
  • Arsenic
  • EE2
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


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