Phenolic compounds are one of the most representative pollutants in industrial wastewater, and efficient removals of them have attracted significant concerns. In this study, several commercial and new synthetic polymers (acrylonitrile, 1,3-butadiene, and styrene copolymer (ABS), styrene, acrylonitrile copolymer (SAN), poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), poly(tert-butyl acrylate) (ptBA)) with special functionalities were evaluated for their ability to removephenol from an aqueous solution. Equilibrium studies were conducted in the range of 20-100 mg/L initial phenol concentrations, 3-11 pH solutions, and a temperature range of 25-65°C. The results showed that (styrene, 1,3-butadiene) copolymer (SAN) gave the best adsorption capacity among all of the polymers tested. The solution temperature, phenol concentration, and agitation rate played a significant role in influencing the capacity of the adsorbents toward phenol molecules. An increase in solution temperature led to a significant increase in the adsorption capacity of SAN. The percentage of adsorption decreased when initial concentration of phenol increased. However, the percentage removal of phenol was observed to increase with agitation. Removal of phenol using polymeric microbeads is difficult to investigate under high and low pH values because it requires a lot of acid or base to adjust the pH values in the adsorption media.
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