The adsorption of phenolic and organotin compounds by clays and cation exchanged clays

  • Monique A.M. Lawrence

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Quaternary ammonium exchanged laponites (Quat-laponites) show selectivity in the adsorption of phenols and chlorinated phenols. Strong adsorbate-adsorbent interactions are indicated by adsorption isotherms.
Adsorption of phenols and chlorinated phenols by Quat-smectites is greater than that by the Bi Quat-Smectites prepared in this study. It is thought that the quaternary ammonium exchanged smectite components of the Bi Quat-smectites interact with each other (adsorbent-adsorbent interactions) reducing the number of sites available for adsorbate-adsorbent interactions.
Solidification/stabilisation studies of 2-chlorophenol show that a blend of ground granulated blast furnace slag and ordinary Portland cement attenuates 2-chlorophenol more effectively than ordinary Portland cement alone.
Tetramethyl ammonium- (TMA-) and tetramethyl phosphonium- (TMP-) montmorillonites were exposed to solutions of phenol or chlorinated phenols. TMP- montmorillonite was the better adsorbent and preferentially adsorbed 4-chlorophenol over phenol. Hydration of the interlayer cations occurs to a greater extent in the TMA-montmorillonite than the TMP-montmorillonite restricting interlayer adsorption.
Contrary to that observed for phenols and chlorinated phenols, the Quat-smectites were ineffective as adsorbents for triphenyltin hydroxide and bis(tributyltin) oxide at room temperature. Under microwave conditions, only bis(tributyltin) oxide was adsorbed by the quaternary ammonium exchanged smectites. Bis(tributyltin) oxide was adsorbed from ethanol on the surface of the smectite clays at room temperature and under microwave conditions. The adsorbate-adsorbent interactions were weak. Adsorption is accompanied by conversion of bis(tributyltin) oxide to a different tin(IV) species and the release of sodium cations from the montmorillonite interlayer region.
Attempts to introduce conditions suitable for charge transfer interactions between synthesised quaternary ammonium compounds and 2,4,6-trichlorophenol are documented.
Transition metal complex exchanged clays adsorb 2,4,6-trichlorophenol and phenol. Strong adsorbate-adsorbent interactions (Type I isotherms) occur when the adsorbate is 2,4,6-trichlorophenol and when the adsorbent is [Fe(bipy)3]2+ exchanged montmorillonite or [Co(bipy)3]3+ exchanged montmorillonite. The 2,2'-bipyridyl ligands of the adsorbents are electron rich and the 2,4,6-trichlorophenol is electron deficient. This may have enhanced adsorbate-adsorbent interactions.

Date of AwardJan 1996
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorWilliam R. McWhinnie (Supervisor)


  • quaternary ammonium exchanged smectites
  • bi quaternary ammonium exchanged smectites
  • transition metal complex exchanged clays
  • chlorinated phenols
  • bis(tributyltin) oxide

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