Author(s): De Lisi R, Lazzara G, Milioto S, Muratore N
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Abstract The affinity of functionalized Laponite clay toward an organic material in the aqueous phase was explored. Functionalization was performed by using triblock copolymers based on ethylene oxide (EO) and propylene oxide (PO) units that are EO(11)PO(16)EO(11) (L35) and PO(8)EO(23)PO(8) (10R5). Phenol (PhOH) was chosen as organic compound, which represents a contaminant prototype. To this purpose, densities and enthalpies of mixing as well as PhOH UV-absorption spectra were determined. The enthalpy and the spectrophotometry revealed PhOH-Laponite interactions whereas the volume did not. It emerged that the area occupied by PhOH on the Laponite surface is equal to that computed from the partial molar volume of PhOH in water, corroborating the insensitivity of the experimental volumes to the adsorption process. The situation where both PhOH and copolymer are simultaneously present in the aqueous Laponite suspension was also investigated. It turned out that the copolymer replaces PhOH from the water/Laponite clay interface, resulting in L35 being the more efficient. Moreover, the lateral copolymer-phenol interactions enhance the anchoring of PhOH to the solid surface. The reverse copolymer exercises the most important relevant effect. The UV-absorption spectra of PhOH in the water + copolymer + Laponite mixtures provided information that is consistent with those given by the calorimetric experiments. In conclusion, the aqueous copolymer-functionalized Laponite presents surface properties very different from the bare Laponite, favoring the removal of the organic compound from the solid surface.
This article was published in Langmuir
and referenced in Medicinal Chemistry