University of Oulu

Tuula Selkälä, Terhi Suopajärvi, Juho Antti Sirviö, Tero Luukkonen, Gabriela S. Lorite, Simo Kalliola, Mika Sillanpää, Henrikki Liimatainen, Rapid uptake of pharmaceutical salbutamol from aqueous solutions with anionic cellulose nanofibrils: The importance of pH and colloidal stability in the interaction with ionizable pollutants, Chemical Engineering Journal, Volume 350, 2018, Pages 378-385, ISSN 1385-8947,

Rapid uptake of pharmaceutical salbutamol from aqueous solutions with anionic cellulose nanofibrils : the importance of pH and colloidal stability in the interaction with ionizable pollutants

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Author: Selkälä, Tuula1; Suopajärvi, Terhi1; Sirviö, Juho Antti1;
Organizations: 1Fiber and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
2Microelectronics Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4500, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
3Laboratory of Green Chemistry, LUT Savo Sustainable Technologies, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Sammonkatu 12, FI-50130 Mikkeli, Finland
4Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33174, USA
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2018
Publish Date: 2019-02-07


Micropollutants escaping conventional wastewater treatment processes pose a threat to biota and the environment. Amongst micropollutants, small and ionizable organic compounds are particularly challenging, since their removal depends significantly on prevailing conditions. In this study, anionic cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) were shown to perform as promising adsorbents for an ionizable pharmaceutical, salbutamol. The adsorbents were produced from wood cellulose through succinylation pretreatment in urea-LiCl deep eutectic solvent (DES), followed by a nanofibrillation procedure. The impact of pH, contact time, salbutamol concentration, and adsorbent dose on salbutamol uptake were investigated in batch adsorption studies. Based on the results, the chemical modification of cellulose significantly enhanced the adsorption of salbutamol. The adsorption efficiency was mainly dependent on the charge and colloidal stability of the anionic nanofibril suspension rather than the charge of salbutamol, because the adsorption was considerably improved at pH > 7 due to the deprotonation of the cellulose carboxyl groups. The experimental maximum adsorption capacity was 196 mg/g. This study highlights the potential of cellulose nanomaterial adsorbents and the importance of controlling the charge of the adsorbent material when developing solutions for ionizable micropollutant removal.

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Series: Chemical engineering journal
ISSN: 1385-8947
ISSN-E: 1873-3212
ISSN-L: 1385-8947
Volume: 350
Pages: 378 - 385
DOI: 10.1016/j.cej.2018.05.163
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 215 Chemical engineering
216 Materials engineering
218 Environmental engineering
221 Nanotechnology
Funding: This work was supported by the Advanced Materials Doctoral Program of the University of Oulu Graduate School and the Bionanochemicals project of the Academy of Finland [Grant number 298295].
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 298295
Detailed Information: 298295 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license