Removal of Synthetic Estrogen from Water by Adsorption on Modified Bentonites

Halima Gallouze, Djamal Eddine Akretche, Carla Daniel, Isabel Coelhoso, João G. Crespo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Natural bentonite is an adsorbent that can be easily modified as a low-cost material effective for the removal of persistent pharmaceutical micropollutants from water bodies. In this study, the modification of untreated bentonite by sodium is addressed to obtain Na-bent, which was further modified with L-Tryptophan (L-Trp) as well as with FeCl2.4H2O to produce Trp-Na-bent and Fe-Na-bent, respectively. The nonmodified and modified bentonite samples were tested for the adsorption of the pharmaceutical micropollutant 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) present in water bodies, a synthetic estrogen with very high toxicity. The structure of bentonite, before and after modification, was characterized using Fourier transform infrared, X-ray diffraction, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller, and thermal analysis (thermogravimetric analysis and differential scanning calorimetry) techniques. The influence of various experimental parameters on the adsorbent/adsorbate interaction was investigated. Equilibrium and kinetic studies of EE2 micropollutant adsorption were performed varying the initial adsorbate concentration, mass of bentonite, and contact time. The maximum adsorption for an initial concentration of 10 mg/L of EE2 was 4.20 mg/g, reaching the equilibrium after 2 h. The equilibrium data were fitted with Langmuir, Freundlich, and Dual-mode model equations. Adsorption kinetic data were analyzed using the pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order, and intraparticle diffusion models. The pseudo-second order model was the one that better described the kinetic data. The highest value of the equilibrium rate constant was obtained for Trp-Na-bent, followed by Fe-Na-bent. The results obtained show that the Trp-Na-bent complex exhibits a promising performance for the adsorption of EE2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • adsorption modeling
  • Algerian bentonite
  • modified bentonite
  • purification process
  • synthetic estrogen removal


Dive into the research topics of 'Removal of Synthetic Estrogen from Water by Adsorption on Modified Bentonites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this