Water purification from organic pollutants by optimized micelle-clay systems

Tamara Polubesova*, Shlomo Nir, Dikla Zadaka, Onn Rabinovitz, Carina Serban, Ludmila Groisman, Baruch Rubin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Removal of anionic pollutants (imazaquin, sulfentrazone, sulfosulfuron) and neutral pollutants (alachlor, acetochlor, chlorotoluron, bromacil) from water by micelles preadsorbed on montmorillonite was studied. Micelles of octadecyltrimethylammonium and benzyldimethylhexadecylammonium (BDMHDA) were used. The micelle-clay systems (1% w/w) removed 87-99% of the pollutants from their water solutions containing 1-33 mg/L of herbicide. The nature of the headgroup of the organic cation, which forms the micelles, is critical. Desorption of imazaquin and acetochlor from 0.3% (w/w) suspension of BDMHDA-clay complex after 24 h was around 7% in the range of adsorbed amounts from 0.6 to 15.3 mg/g. These results indicate rather slow rates and small extents of release of pollutants from micelle-clay complexes. Column filters (25 cm) made of a mixture of quartz sand and BDMHDA micelle-clay complex at 100:1 w/w ratio removed at least 99% of above pollutants from initial solutions containing 10 mg/L; 99.5 and 97% of sulfosulfuron and alachlor were removed from their initial solutions containing 200 and 5 μg/L, respectively. These data indicate that micelle-clay complexes are very efficient for water purification from organic contaminants.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2343-2348
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2005


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