A Caltech Library Service

Sorption of Perfluorochemicals to Granular Activated Carbon in the Presence of Ultrasound

Zhao, Deming and Cheng, Jie and Vecitis, Chad D. and Hoffmann, Michael R. (2011) Sorption of Perfluorochemicals to Granular Activated Carbon in the Presence of Ultrasound. Journal of Physical Chemistry A, 115 (11). pp. 2250-2257. ISSN 1089-5639.

PDF (Supporting Information) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Perfluorochemicals (PFCs) are emerging pollutants of increasing public health and environmental concern due to their worldwide distribution, environmental persistence, and bioaccumulation potential. Activated carbon adsorption is an effective method to remove PFCs from water. Herein, we report on the sorption of four PFCs: perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoate (PFOA), perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), and perfluorobutanoate (PFBA), from deionized water (MQ) and landfill groundwater (GW) by granular activated carbon (GAC) in the absence and presence of 20 kHz ultrasound. In all cases, the adsorption kinetics were found to be well-represented by a pseudosecond-order model, with maximum monolayer sorption capacity and initial sorption rate values following the orders q_(e)^(PFOS) > q_(e)^(PFOA) > q_(e)^(PFBS) > q_(e)^(PFBA) and v_(0)^(PFOS) > v_(0)^(PFBS) > v_(0)^(PFOA) > v_(0)^(PFBA), respectively. The equilibrium adsorption was quantified by the BET multilayer absorption isotherm, and the monolayer sorption capacity increased with increasing PFC chain length: q_(m)^(PFOS) > q_(m)^(PFOA) > q_(m)^(PFBS) > q_(m)^(PFBA). The equilibrium PFC sorption constants, q_e and q_m, and the sorption kinetic constants, v_0 and k_2, were greater in Milli-Q water than in landfill groundwater with or without pretreatment, indicating competition for sorption sites by natural and cocontaminant groundwater organics. Ultrasonic irradiation significantly increased the PFC−GAC sorption kinetics, 250−900%, and slightly increased the extent of PFC equilibrium adsorption, 5−50%. The ultrasonic PFC−GAC sorption kinetics enhancement increased with increasing PFC chain length, suggesting ultrasound acts to increase the PFC diffusion rate into GAC nanopores.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hoffmann, Michael R.0000-0001-6495-1946
Additional Information:© 2011 American Chemical Society. Received: December 11, 2010; revised: February 10, 2011; published: March 3, 2011. We thank 3M for donation of the analytical equipment and the Caltech Environmental Analysis Center (Dr. Nathan Dalleska) for technical assistance in sample analysis. D.Z. was on sabbatical leave at Caltech during the 2008-2009 academic year with support provided by the China Scholarship Council and Zhejiang University of Technology.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
China Scholarship CouncilUNSPECIFIED
Zhejiang University of TechnologyUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110405-110946196
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Sorption of Perfluorochemicals to Granular Activated Carbon in the Presence of Ultrasound Deming Zhao, Jie Cheng, Chad D. Vecitis, Michael R. Hoffmann The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 2011 115 (11), 2250-2257
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23243
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:10 Apr 2011 04:04
Last Modified:03 Mar 2020 13:01

Repository Staff Only: item control page