Removal of cresols from water by packed beds of cyclodextrin-based hydrogels
A cyclodextrin-based polymer was prepared by crosslinking beta-cyclodextrin with epichlorohydrin to be assessed as a sorbent material for cresols in packed-bed columns. Both Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms were appropriate to describe the sorption equilibrium in the conditions tested, and the thermodynamic parameters obtained for this process confirmed its exothermic nature with similar enthalpies (between - 6.8 and - 8.3 kJ/mol) for the three isomers. The removal of cresols from water was carried out in nine cycles of sorption-desorption in fixed-column experiments with the cyclodextrin hydrogel, achieving sorption capacities of 6.2, 11.6, and 15.1 mg/g for o-, m-, p-cresol, respectively. These differences in sorption capacities are due to the different chemical structures of cresols, that is, the relative position of the methyl and hydroxyl groups. However, similar sorption rates were observed for each isomer, with a mean value of 0.10 mg-cresol g-CDP-1 min(-1) in all cases. The experimental data for the breakthrough and the elution curves have been successfully modeled by two effective two-parameter equations, a dose-response model for the sorption step and a pulse-peak model for the regeneration step. The cyclodextrin polymer matrix has been proven to be an effective a good sorbent material for removing cresols from water, exhibiting remarkable reusability performance and structural stability throughout the successive elution steps carried out with methanol.