Methylene blue adsorption from aqueous solutions to flexible poly(vinyl chloride) silica composites
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Methylene blue (MB) adsorption studies were performed with poly(vinyl chloride)-(dioctyl phthalate)-silica composites, which were obtained by using plastisol-plastigel technology. The films were flexible, having elastic modulus of 1.0-1.5 GPa. Diminishing MB concentration in the aqueous phase was followed as the adsorption process advanced by using visible spectroscopy. Contributions of the individual components of the composites to adsorption were also investigated. Although the MB adsorption capacity was extensively high for silica, it was moderate for the composite, most likely owing to the occlusion of pores of silica by plasticizer to some extent. The improvement of MB adsorption capacity of the composites as the silica ratio increased was explicitly deduced from the optical microscopy photographs. The diffusion coefficients of MB through the composites were 5 × 10-13, 6 × 10-13, and 3 × 10-13 m2 s-1 with regression coefficients of 0.73, 0.89, and 0.88 for 0, 2, and 16% silica-containing composites, respectively. Because of the slow diffusion of MB in poly(vinyl chloride)-silica composites, using them as dynamic column adsorbent was not practical. However, these versatile plastics can be used as plastic labels, colored clothing, leather substitutes, antimicrobial medical devices, and laser printable surfaces.