Rapid uptake of pharmaceutical salbutamol from aqueous solutions with anionic cellulose nanofibrils: The importance of pH and colloidal stability in the interaction with ionizable pollutants

Tuula Selkälä, Terhi Suopajärvi, Juho Antti Sirviö, Tero Luukkonen, Gabriela S. Lorite, Simo Kalliola, Mika Sillanpää, Henrikki Liimatainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Micropollutants escaping conventional wastewater treatment processes pose a threat to biota and the environment. Amongst micropollutants, small and ionizable organic compounds are particularly challenging, since their removal depends significantly on prevailing conditions. In this study, anionic cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) were shown to perform as promising adsorbents for an ionizable pharmaceutical, salbutamol. The adsorbents were produced from wood cellulose through succinylation pretreatment in urea-LiCl deep eutectic solvent (DES), followed by a nanofibrillation procedure. The impact of pH, contact time, salbutamol concentration, and adsorbent dose on salbutamol uptake were investigated in batch adsorption studies. Based on the results, the chemical modification of cellulose significantly enhanced the adsorption of salbutamol. The adsorption efficiency was mainly dependent on the charge and colloidal stability of the anionic nanofibril suspension rather than the charge of salbutamol, because the adsorption was considerably improved at pH > 7 due to the deprotonation of the cellulose carboxyl groups. The experimental maximum adsorption capacity was 196 mg/g. This study highlights the potential of cellulose nanomaterial adsorbents and the importance of controlling the charge of the adsorbent material when developing solutions for ionizable micropollutant removal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-385
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Volume350
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Deep eutectic solvent
  • Dissolving pulp
  • Micropollutant
  • Nanocellulose
  • Succinic anhydride
  • Wastewater treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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