Chitosan and alginate biopolymer membranes for remediation of contaminated water with herbicides
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This study investigated the adsorption behavior of the herbicides diquat, difenzoquat and clomazone on biopolymer membranes prepared with alginate and chitosan (pristine and multi-layer model) for contaminated water remediation applications. Herbicides, at concentrations ranging from 5 mu M to 200 mu M, were adsorbed in either pure alginate, pure chitosan or a bilayer membrane composed of chitosan/alginate. No adsorption of clomazone was observed on any of the membranes, probably due to lack of electrostatic interactions between the herbicide and the membranes. Diquat and difenzoquat were only adsorbed on the alginate and chitosan/alginate membranes, indicating that this adsorption takes place in the alginate layer. At a concentration of 50 mu M, diquat adsorption reaches ca. 95% after 120 min on both the alginate and chitosan/alginate membranes. The adsorption of difenzoquat, at the same concentration, reaches ca. 62% after 120 min on pure alginate membranes and ca. 12% on chitosan/ alginate bilayer membranes. The adsorption isotherms for diquat and difenzoquat were further evaluated using the isotherm models proposed by Langmuir and by Freundlich, where the latter represented the best-fit model. Results indicate that adsorption occurs via coulombic interactions between the herbicides and alginate and is strongly related to the electrostatic charge, partition coefficients and dissociation constants of the herbicides. Biopolymer based membranes present novel systems for the removal of herbicides from contaminated water sources and hold great promise in the field of environmental science and engineering. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.