Removal of aromatic contaminants, like phenol, from water can be efficiently achieved by preferential adsorption on porous carbons which exhibit molecular sieving properties. Here, we present nanoporous carbon beads exhibiting an outstanding sieving effect in phenol adsorption from aqueous solution at neutral pH, which is evidenced experimentally and theoretically. The molecular sieving with pure phenol adsorbed phase is achieved by tuning the pore size and surface chemistry of the adsorbent. This study elucidates the essential role of hydrophobic interactions in narrow carbon micropores in removal and clean-up of water from organic pollutants. Furthermore, we suggest a new theoretical approach for evaluation of phenol adsorption capacity that is based on the Monte Carlo simulation of phenol adsorption with the relevance to the pore size distribution function determined by the density functional theory method from low temperature nitrogen adsorption.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)