Atrazine removal from water by polycation-clay composites: Effect of dissolved organic matter and comparison to activated carbon

Dikla Zadaka, Shlomo Nir, Adi Radian, Yael G. Mishael*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Atrazine removal from water by two polycations pre-adsorbed on montmorillonite was studied. Batch experiments demonstrated that the most suitable composite poly (4-vinylpyridine-co-styrene)-montmorillonite (PVP-co-S90%-mont.) removed 90-99% of atrazine (0.5-28 ppm) within 20-40 min at 0.367% w/w. Calculations employing Langmuir's equation could simulate and predict the kinetics and final extents of atrazine adsorption. Column filter experiments (columns 20 × 1.6 cm) which included 2 g of the PVP-co-S90%-mont. composite mixed with excess sand removed 93-96% of atrazine (800 ppb) for the first 800 pore volumes, whereas the same amount of granular activated carbon (GAC) removed 83-75%. In the presence of dissolved organic matter (DOM; 3.7 ppm) the efficiency of the GAC filter to remove atrazine decreased significantly (68-52% removal), whereas the corresponding efficiency of the PVP-co-S90%-mont. filter was only slightly influenced by DOM. At lower atrazine concentration (7 ppb) the PVP-co-S90%-mont. filter reduced even after 3000 pore volumes the emerging atrazine concentration below 3 ppb (USEPA standard). In the case of the GAC filter the emerging atrazine concentration was between 2.4 and 5.3 μg/L even for the first 100 pore volumes. Thus, the PVP-co-S90%-mont. composite is a new efficient material for the removal of atrazine from water.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)677-683
Number of pages7
JournalWater Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Grant 472/7 and 3-4351 (Eshkol) from the Ministry of Science Culture and Sport of Israel. We also acknowledge The Hebrew University of Jerusalem for internal funding. Dr. Loda Groisman and Dr. Elza Nelkenbaum are acknowledged for performance of GC–MS analysis.


  • Atrazine
  • Dissolved organic matter
  • Filtration
  • Polycation-clay composites
  • Water purification


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