Nonionic organoclay: A 'Swiss Army knife' for the adsorption of organic micro-pollutants?

Régis Guégan*, Marcelo Giovanela, Fabienne Warmont, Mikael Motelica-Heino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


A Na exchanged montmorillonite (Mt) was used as a starting layered material for the preparation of two organoclays synthesized with benzyl decyltrimethyl ammonium (BDTA) cationic surfactant and the tri-ethylene glycol mono n-decyl ether(C10E3), a nonconventional nonionic surfactant. The adsorption of the surfactants was performed at an amount of 0.7 times the cation exchange capacity (CEC) for BDTA and below the critical micelle concentration (cmc) where C10E3 is in a monomer state, leading to the intercalation of a lateral monolayer surfactant arrangement within the interlayer space and about 5-7% organic carbon content in organoclays. The environmental properties of both nonionic (C10E3Mt) and cationic (BDTAMt) organoclays were compared to those of the starting Mt clay with the sorption of three micro-pollutants: benzene, dimethyl-phthalate and paraquat. The adsorption isotherms and the derivative data determined through the fitting procedure by using Langmuir, Freundlich and Dubinin-Radushkevitch equation models explicitly highlighted the importance of the chemical nature of the micropollutants, which play on the adsorbents efficiency. The adsorption data combined with FTIR and XRD supplementary results suggest that C10E3Mt nonionic organoclay, although being less efficient for the retention of the different micropollutants, turned out to be the most polyvalent adsorbent since such hybrid material could adsorb the entire studied organic compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-79
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Colloid And Interface Science
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Adsorption
  • Clay minerals
  • Nonionic surfactant
  • Organic pollutants
  • Organoclay
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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