Influence of Temperature on the Adsorption of Mellitic Acid onto Kaolinite Academic Article uri icon


  • The adsorption of mellitic acid (benzene-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexacarboxylic acid) onto kaolinite was investigated at five temperatures between 10 and 70 degrees C. Mellitic acid adsorption increased with increasing temperature at low pH (below pH 5.5), but at higher pH, the effect of increasing temperature was to reduce the amount adsorbed. Potentiometric titrations were conducted, adsorption isotherms were measured over the same temperature range, and the data obtained were used in conjunction with adsorption edge and ATR-FTIR spectroscopic data to develop an extended constant capacitance surface complexation model of mellitic acid adsorption. A single set of reactions was used to model all data at the five temperatures studied. The model indicates that mellitic acid sorbs via outer-sphere complexation to surface hydroxyl (SOH) groups on the kaolinite surface rather than to permanent charge sites. The reactions proposed are SOH + L6- + 2H+ <-->[(SOH2)+(LH)5-]4- and SOH + L(6-) <--> [(SOH)(L)6-]6-. Thermodynamic parameters calculated from the temperature dependence of the equilibrium constants for these reactions indicate that the adsorption of mellitic acid onto kaolinite is accompanied by a large entropy increase.

publication date

  • April 2006