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.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Theoretical calculation