Adsorption of phenanthrene and its monohydroxy derivatives on polyvinyl chloride microplastics in aqueous solution: Model fitting and mechanism analysis

Zhen Zong Bao, Zhi Feng Chen*, Yuanhong Zhong, Guangzhao Wang, Zenghua Qi, Zongwei CAI

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The pervasiveness of microplastics, which can absorb pollutants, has a certain impact on pollutant migration in natural waters. Differences in functional groups, such as the hydroxyl group, of pollutants will affect their adsorption on microplastics. In this study, the adsorption of phenanthrene (PHE) or its monohydroxy derivatives, including 1-hydroxyphenanthrene (1-OHP), 2-hydroxyphenanthrene (2-OHP), 4-hydroxyphenanthrene (4-OHP), and 9-hydroxyphenanthrene (9-OHP), on polyvinyl chloride (PVC, measured mean particle size = 134 μm) microplastics was studied. The adsorption efficiency of PHE was shown to be higher than that of either of OHPs. A better fit for pseudo-second-order and Freundlich isotherm models was obtained, indicating different binding sites on the surface of PVC microplastics. The adsorption processes of PHE and OHPs on PVC microplastics were demonstrated to be exothermic and spontaneous. Combined with FT-IR analysis, theoretical calculation, and comparative adsorption experiments, hydrophobic interaction was the dominant mechanism during the adsorption process. In contrast, electrostatic repulsion, CH/π interaction, and halogen bonding played a minor role, to an extent, in the adsorption of PHE/OHPs on PVC microplastics. These findings indicate the influence of the hydroxyl group on adsorption and improve the understanding of interactions between PVC microplastics and PHE/OHPs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number142889
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume764
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adsorption
  • Hydroxyphenanthrene
  • Mechanism
  • Microplastic
  • Phenanthrene
  • Theoretical calculation

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