Polycyclodextrin-Clay Composites: Regenerable Dual-Site Sorbents for Bisphenol A Removal from Treated Wastewater

Itamar A. Shabtai, Yael G. Mishael*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The greatest challenge of wastewater treatment is the removal of trace concentrations of persistent micropollutants in the presence of the high concentration of effluent organic matter (EfOM). Micropollutant removal by sorbents is a common practice, but sorbent employment is often limited because of fouling induced by EfOM and challenging sorbent regeneration. We directly addressed these two issues by designing regenerable dual-site composite sorbents based on polymerized β-cyclodextrin, modified with a cationic group (pCD+) and adsorbed to montmorillonite (pCD+-MMT). This dual-site composite was tailored to simultaneously target an emerging micropollutant, bisphenol A (BPA), through inclusion in β-cyclodextrin cavities and target anionic EfOM compounds, through electrostatic interactions. The removal of BPA from treated wastewater by the composite was not compromised despite the high removal of EfOM. The composites outperformed many recently reported sorbents. Differences in composite performance was discussed in terms of their structures, as characterized with TGA, XRD, BET and SEM. The simultaneous filtration of BPA and EfOM from wastewater by pCD+-MMT columns was demonstrated. Furthermore, successful in-column regeneration was obtained by selectively eluting EfOM and BPA, with brine and alkaline solutions, respectively. Finally, the composites removed trace concentrations of numerous high priority micropollutants from treated wastewater more efficiently than commercial activated carbon. This study highlights the potential to design novel dual-site composites as selective and regenerable sorbents for advanced wastewater treatment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)27088-27097
Number of pages10
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number32
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Chemical Society.


  • bisphenol A
  • cyclodextrin
  • filtration
  • polymer-clay composites
  • regeneration
  • wastewater treatment


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