High-silica zeolites for adsorption of organic micro-pollutants in water treatment: A review

Nan Jiang*, Ran Shang, Sebastiaan G.J. Heijman, Luuk C. Rietveld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

220 Citations (Scopus)
283 Downloads (Pure)


High-silica zeolites have been found to be effective adsorbents for the removal of organic micro-pollutants (OMPs) from impaired water, including various pharmaceuticals, personal care products, industrial chemicals, etc. In this review, the properties and fundamentals of high-silica zeolites are summarised. Recent research on mechanisms and efficiencies of OMP adsorption by high-silica zeolites are reviewed to assess the potential opportunities and challenges for the application of high-silica zeolites for OMP adsorption in water treatment. It is concluded that the adsorption capacities are well-related to surface hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity and structural features, e.g. micropore volume and pore size of high-silica zeolites, as well as the properties of OMPs. By using high-silica zeolites, the undesired competitive adsorption of background organic matter (BOM) in natural water could potentially be prevented. In addition, oxidative regeneration could be applied on-site to restore the adsorption capacity of zeolites for OMPs and prevent the toxic residues from re-entering the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-161
Number of pages17
JournalWater Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Adsorption
  • High-silica zeolites
  • Organic micro-pollutants
  • Water treatment


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