Removal of phenol from aqueous solutions by adsorption onto polymeric adsorbents

Muhanned A. Hararah, Khalid A. Ibrahim, Aláa H. Al-Muhtaseb, Rushdi I. Yousef, Adnan Abu-Surrah, Aláa Qatatsheh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Phenolic compounds are one of the most representative pollutants in industrial wastewater, and efficient removals of them have attracted significant concerns. In this study, several commercial and new synthetic polymers (acrylonitrile, 1,3-butadiene, and styrene copolymer (ABS), styrene, acrylonitrile copolymer (SAN), poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), poly(tert-butyl acrylate) (ptBA)) with special functionalities were evaluated for their ability to removephenol from an aqueous solution. Equilibrium studies were conducted in the range of 20-100 mg/L initial phenol concentrations, 3-11 pH solutions, and a temperature range of 25-65°C. The results showed that (styrene, 1,3-butadiene) copolymer (SAN) gave the best adsorption capacity among all of the polymers tested. The solution temperature, phenol concentration, and agitation rate played a significant role in influencing the capacity of the adsorbents toward phenol molecules. An increase in solution temperature led to a significant increase in the adsorption capacity of SAN. The percentage of adsorption decreased when initial concentration of phenol increased. However, the percentage removal of phenol was observed to increase with agitation. Removal of phenol using polymeric microbeads is difficult to investigate under high and low pH values because it requires a lot of acid or base to adjust the pH values in the adsorption media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1908-1913
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption isotherm
  • Phenol removal
  • Polymers
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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