Prediction of adsorption capacity for pharmaceuticals, personal care products and endocrine disrupting chemicals onto various adsorbent materials

Warisa Bunmahotama, Tsair–Fuh –F Lin, Xin Yang

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Adsorption is a common process used to remove pharmaceuticals, personal care products and endocrine disrupting chemicals (PPCPs/EDCs) from water. However, as PPCPs/EDCs cover a wide range of molecules and chemical structures, prediction of the adsorption capacity is very challenging. In this study, a novel model was developed to predict adsorption isotherms of PPCPs/EDCs onto various types of adsorbents using a combination of Polanyi potential theory, molecular connectivity indices (MCIs) and molecular characteristics. Polanyi theory provided the basic mathematical form for the correlation. MCIs, hydrophobicity and H-bond count were used to normalize the Polanyi equation based on the molecular structure and interactions among the chemicals, the adsorbents, and the solution. In total, adsorption data were collected from 158 reports for 55 PPCPs/EDCs onto 306 different adsorbent materials. The correlation was first trained with 46 PPCPs/EDCs adsorbed onto 162 carbonaceous adsorbents (CAs), with 44.8% SDEV. Then the model was employed to predict 46 PPCPs/EDCs onto 118 other CAs and 9 new PPCPs/EDCs onto 23 CAs in ultrapure water, with error from 42 to 48% SDEV. When applying to non-carbonaceous adsorbents, the models can still predict the adsorption of PPCPs/EDCs with 90.09% SDEV. For the first time, a model, the PD – MCI – hydrophobic – H bond model, was developed to predict adsorption of a wide group of complicated PPCPs/EDCs onto a big variety of carbonaceous and non-carbonaceous adsorbents. The proposed model approach may provide a simple means for predicting adsorption capacities of PPCPs/EDCs onto various adsorbents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124658
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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