Journal of Advanced Oxidation Technologies, Volume 20, Issue 1, 20160170, ISSN (Online) 2371-1175

DOI: 10.1515/jaots-2016-0170


The influence of the variation of chemical surface properties of activated carbons on the sorption capacity of activated carbons used in hybrid heterogeneous ozonation systems is still under discussion. In this study, the effect of long exposure of activated carbon to ozone and its implication on the removal of emerging organic pollutants from waters is evaluated. A commercial activated carbon (Filtrasorb-400) is used here as a raw material. It is chemically modified by continuous ozone exposure. 2-hydroxybenzothiazole (OHBT) is chosen as a target organic contaminant, representative of emerging micro-pollutants. Results obtained here reveal that extensive exposition of activated carbon surface to ozone weakens adsorbate–adsorbent interactions. Highly exposed activated carbon to ozone increases the concentration of oxygen-containing acidic functional groups, leading to a higher concentration of surface electron-withdrawing groups such as carboxylic acid anhydrides and carboxylic acids and reducing the sorption capacity toward OHBT in the hybrid heterogeneous ozonation system. At pH conditions around the point of zero charge (pHPZC), such sorption reduction could be due to a decrease on dispersive interactions among π-electrons of aromatic ring of OHBT molecules and the π-electron system of carbon graphene layers, coming after extensive exposition of activated carbon surface to ozone. However, at pH >pHPZClow removal of OHBT is obtained because of the appearing of repulsive electrostatic interactions among the ionised form of OHBT molecules and the de-protonated form of oxygen-containing functional groups that appears after long contact with ozone. In addition, a new concept to predict activated carbon performances in a hybrid heterogeneous ozonation process is proposed.


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