Study of the adsorption of endocrine disruptor compounds on typical filter materials using a quartz crystal microbalance.


Chongqing Jianzhu College, Chongqing, 400072, China. [Email]


Drinking water containing environmental endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs) endangers human health, and researching the purification process of drinking water for the effective removal of EDCs is vitally important. Filtering plays a crucial role in the bio-adsorption of EDCs, but the adsorption mechanism that occurs between the EDCs and filters remains unclear. In this study, a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) was employed to elucidate the adsorption mechanism because QCM is a label-free method that possesses high selectivity, high stability, and high sensitivity. The results indicated that a pseudo-first-order kinetic model best fits the adsorption process of four different EDCs, which included bisphenol A (BPA), estrone (E1), estradiol (E2), and sulfamethoxazole (SMZ), on silica (quartz sand), a typical filter material surface. The order of the amount of individual EDCs absorbed on the silica surface was qE2 > qE1 > qSMZ > qBPA and related to their molecular structure, polarity, and chargeability. As the initial EDC concentration increased, the adsorbed amount of the four EDCs on the silica surface increased; however, the initial concentration had little effect on removal efficiency. The calculated Freundlich exponent (1/n) demonstrated SMZ and BPA showed a greater tendency for adsorption than E1 and E2. The mass response time on the surface of the silica gradually increased as the pH increased (from 5.5 to 8.5), indicating the adsorption rate was inhibited by the increase in pH. The addition of electrolytes shortened the mass response time of EDCs on the QCM chip. The pH and ionic strength produced no significant effects on adsorption because hydrophobicity was the primary contributor to adsorption. This study facilitated a better understanding of the interaction between EDCs and filters in water treatment.


Adsorption mechanism,Endocrine disruptor compounds,Filter materials,Quartz crystal microbalance,