Toxic hydrophobic compounds can be adsorbed at high concentration levels by microplastics (MPs) in engineering systems used to treat potable and wastewater. This research investigated the interaction between granular activated carbon (GAC) and nylon MPs with compounds, referred to as compounds of concern (CCs) in this study. The CCs of focus consisted of five polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) – fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene, benzo[b]-fluoranthene, and benzo[k]fluoranthene – and three compounds of emerging concern (CECs) – caffeine, diethyltoluamide (DEET), and triclosan. Microplastics can adsorb hydrophobic compounds at concerning rates, thus the use of GAC to remove CCs from MPs was evaluated. Batch experiments were conducted with samples of nylon MPs, GAC, and CCs with varying concentrations. The samples were subjected to gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis to yield quantitative data. The analysis showed that the introduction of activated carbon lacked the ability to reduce the amount of compounds adsorbed by MPs. The compound with the largest reduction in adsorption rate following the addition of GAC was chrysene with a 20.0% reduction, while the compound with the smallest adsorption reduction observed was pyrene with a 9.0% reduction. Factors that affected adsorption rates by nylon MPs were size of the plastic, temperature, incubation time, and compound concentration. Temperature, incubation time, and compound concentration had a directly proportional relation with compound adsorption. Adsorption rates increase as temperature, incubation time, and compound concentration increased. The size of the plastic showed an indirectly proportional relationship, smaller particles resulted in higher adsorption rates. This research concluded that activated carbon is not adequate for the removal of fluoranthene, pyrene, chrysene, benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene, and triclosan from nylon MPs. Caffeine and DEET had no affinity to nylon MPs and were effectively adsorbed by GAC.
|Commitee:||Hong, Jin Gi, Lorenzi, Varenka|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Department:||Civil Engineering & Construction Engineering Management|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 82/6(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Civil engineering, Environmental engineering, Water Resources Management, Materials science, Plastics, Hydrologic sciences|
|Keywords:||Activated carbon, CEC, Microplastics, PAH, Toxic hydrophobic compounds|
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