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Adsorption is the process by which atoms, ions, or molecules from a gas, liquid, or dissolved solid adhere to a surface. It can be used to extract a certain substance from a mixture. In this study, sulfamerazine (SMR) was adsorbed onto a polystyrene sulfonate sodium (PSS) magnetic material to evaluate the adsorption capacity of PSS for this application. This process is shown in the diagram below.
The effect of temperature, time, and pH on the amount adsorbed at an initial SMR concentration of 0.6 mmol/L was studied, and the results are shown in Figures 1-3. Figure 4 shows the effect of the initial concentration of SMR in solution on the amount adsorbed.
The amount of SMR adsorbed (Q) in mg/g was determined using the following equation:
Where C0 and Ce are the initial and adsorption equilibrium concentrations of SMR, respectively (mmol/L), V is the solution volume (mL) and m is the mass (g) of the PSS magnetic material. In the adsorption process, equilibrium is achieved when the amount of the adsorbate (SMR) in the fluid is equal to the amount adsorbed.
Figures adapted from Liu, Huachun et al. “Preparation of high-capacity magnetic polystyrene sulfonate sodium material based on SI-ATRP method and its adsorption property research for sulfonamide antibiotics.” BMC chemistry vol. 14,1 3. 14 Jan. 2020, doi:10.1186/s13065-019-0658-8
Figure 5 shows the results of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) of an actual milk sample treated by the PSS magnetic material. Graph “a” shows the SMR concentration in the milk sample before adsorption by PSS. Graph “b” shows the SMR concentration after adsorption, and graph “c” is a blank milk sample that did not contain any SMR.
According to this figure, did the PSS magnetic material effectively adsorb SMR from the milk?
Notice the peak in graph “a” labeled “SMR.” Compare the size of this peak before adsorption (graph a) and after adsorption (graph b). The more SMR adsorbed from the milk, the shorter the SMR peak will be.