Study of enantioselective metolachlor adsorption by activated carbons†
Four activated carbons were employed to analyse the adsorption of different enantiomeric mixtures of the herbicide metolachlor in aqueous solution. The adsorption kinetics and isotherms were measured and fitted with different theoretical models to exhaustively analyse the adsorption mechanism. Different adsorption capacities were observed as a function of textural features of the adsorbents revealing an important effect of the presence of micro and mesoporous development on the adsorbent–adsorbate interactions. Additionally, enantioselective adsorption was detected for two of the activated carbons employed, rendering a greater adsorption of the S-metolachlor enantiomer compared to the racemic mixture. This fact was associated to the accessibility of certain conformers of the herbicide to the larger pores, facilitating the non-electrostatic adsorption.