Studies on the Adsorption of Toluene and 3-Chlorophenol on Surfactant Modified Aluminum Pillared Wyoming Montmorillonite
The goal of this project was to maximize the adsorption of toluene and 3-chlorophenol from aqueous solution onto aluminum-13 pillared Wyoming montmorillonite. To this end, the clay was loaded with varying amounts of a nonionic surfactant. The two surfactants tested were Tergitol 15-S-5 and Tergitol 15-S-12 (only for 3-chlorophenol) with the general formulas C12-14H25-29O(CH2CH2O)5H and C12-14H25-29O(CH2CH2O)12H respectively. The presence of surfactant increased the adsorption of both the toluene and the 3-chlorophenol. The adsorption of toluene was maximized, however, without any surfactant and when the clay had been calcined at 500°C. Calcination had no effect on the adsorption of 3-chlorophenol. In all cases, the adsorption of 3-chlorophenol was more energetically favorable than toluene, suggesting that the 3-chlorophenol may be bonding with the surfactant through hydrogen bonding.