Commercial activated carbon was treated with six quaternary ammonium salts (Quats), namely, hexyltrimethylammonium (HTMA), octyltrimethylammonium (OTMA), decyltrimethylammonium (DCTMA), dodecyltrimethylammonium (DDTMA), Tetradecyltrimethylammonium (TDTMA), and hexadecyltrimethylammoium (HDTMA) as to enhance the fluoride adsorption capacity. In batch mode experiments, fluoride adsorption onto the Quats-treated activated carbon decreased dramatically with increase in solution pH. Fluoride removal by the Quats-treated activated carbons was closely related to the Quats chain length at less-than critical micelle concentration (CMC). Multi-site adsorption isotherm described fluoride adsorption characteristics well. Results showed that activated carbon treated with DDTMA exhibited the best fluoride adsorption density among all Quats investigated. DDTMA-treated activated carbons exhibited two-fold increase in the fluoride adsorption capacity compared to the untreated activated carbon. Results of regeneration, by alkaline desorption and/or Quats re-loading, showed fluoride-laden activated carbons have high reusability. DDTMA increased the positive surface charge of the activated carbon that enhanced fluoride adsorption. DDTMA-treated activated carbon was promising for fluoride removal from water with much enhanced removal capacity.
Science of The Total Environment 693, 133605(9 pages)