ADSORPTION OF TOLUENE ONTO BLEACHED EUCALYPTUS PULP TREATED WITH ULTRASOUND

Iñaki Urruzola, Maria Ángeles Andrés, Luis Serrano, Jalel Labidi

Abstract


Bleached kraft semichemical eucalyptus pulp was used as raw material to adsorb an organic compound, toluene, from aqueous solution. The pulp was sonicated with different powers and different times to obtain smaller cellulose fibers. The adsorption capacity for toluene of sonicated fibers and bleached eucalyptus pulp was measured by ultraviolet spectroscopy. The absorption capacity for toluene was increased considerably when cellulose nanofibres were obtained. The adsorption capacity of bleached eucalyptus pulp was 36 μmol/g, while sonicated fibres at 30 W and 20 hours increased the adsorption by 47% and at 50 W and 20 h increased it by 67% compared with untreated fibres. Visual examination and optical microscopy were used to observe the reduction of fibers width and the dispersion increase. Contact angle measurements were used to analyze the variation of hydrophilic character of cellulose. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy was used to study variations introduced by the ultrasound treatments on the chemical structure of the samples. The adsorption capacity studies showed that the treatment with ultrasound improved the retention capacity of the fibres, increasing considerably the adsorption capacity when the fiber width approached the nanoscale.

Keywords


Cellulose; Ultrasound; Adsorption; Toluene; Nanofibers

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