Low-cost adsorbents were tested to remove anionic surfactants from laundry rinsing water to allow re-use of water. Adsorbents were selected corresponding to the different surfactant adsorption mechanisms. Equilibrium adsorption studies of linear alkyl benzene sulfonate (LAS) show that ionic interaction results in a high maximum adsorption capacity on positively charged adsorbents of 0.6–1.7 g LAS/g. Non-ionic interactions, such as hydrophobic interactions of LAS with non-ionic resins or activated carbons, result in a lower adsorption capacity of 0.02–0.6 g LAS/g. Negatively charged materials, such as cation exchange resins or bentonite clay, have negligible adsorption capacities for LAS. Similar results are obtained for alpha olefin sulfonate (AOS). Cost comparison of different adsorbents shows that an inorganic anion exchange material (layered double hydroxide) and activated carbons are the most cost-effective materials in terms of the amount of surfactant adsorbed per dollar worth of adsorbent.
Schouten, N., van der Ham, A. G. J., Euverink, G-J. W., & de Haan, A. B. (2007). Selection and evaluation of adsorbents for the removal of anionic surfactants from laundry rinsing water. Water research, 41(18), 4233-4241. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2007.05.044