SORPTION PERFORMANCE OF QUERCUS CERRIS CORK WITH POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS AND TOXICITY TESTING

M. Àngels Olivella, Patrocoa Jové, Alil Şen, Helena Pereira, Isabel Villaescusa, Nuria Fiol

Abstract


Quercus cerris is an important oak species extended in large areas of Eastern Europe and Minor Asia that has a thick bark which is not utilized at all. The sorption performance of cork from Quercus cerris bark with four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) (acenaphthene, fluorene, phenanthrene, and anthracene) was investigated. Quercus cerris cork was characterized for elemental analysis, acidic groups, and summative chemical composition, and the results were compared with Quercus suber cork. A Microtox® test was carried out to test for the release of any toxic compounds into the solution. All isotherms fit the Freundlich model and displayed linear n values. Quercus cerris exhibited a high efficiency for sorption of PAHs for the studied concentrations (5 to 50 µg/L) with 80-96% removal, while the desorption isotherms showed a very low release of the adsorbed PAHs (<2%). In relation to Quercus suber cork, KF values of Quercus cerris cork are about three times lower. The quantity of Quercus cerris cork required to reduce water pollution by PAHs was estimated to be less than twice the quantity of other adsorbents such as aspen wood and leonardite. Toxicity tests indicated that non-toxic compounds were released into the solution by the Quercus cerris and Quercus suber cork samples. Overall the results indicate the potential use of Quercus cerris cork and of Quercus suber cork as effective and economical biosorbents for the treatment of PAH-contaminated waters.

Keywords


Quercus cerris; Quercus suber; biosorbent; sorption-desorption; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); toxicity.

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