It is known that the excess of oxyanions such as NO3- and BrO3- in drinking water affects its quality. In this work, three adsorbents (montmorillonite (Mt), silica (Si), and diatomaceous earth) loaded with hexadecyl- (H) and octadecyl-trimethylammonium (O) were used to remove these oxyanions from aqueous solutions by adsorption. In batch systems, the highest NO3- removal was obtained with Mt modified with H and O (Mt-H and Mt-O), attaining 33 and 50%, respectively, while for BrO3- removal Si modified with H and O, Si-H and Si-O samples, reached 38 and 42%, respectively. A direct relationship between the adsorption capacity of NO3- and BrO3- and the mass of the adsorbent was found in column filtration tests with Mt-O and Mt-H samples in standard solution and real groundwater samples. The adsorption capacity of the column, in the groundwater sample, remained constant after two reuses.The results obtained are promising for the development of a continuous oxyanion removal system containing the low-cost clay Mt modified with either H or O.


  • Three adsorbents were evaluated for oxyanions removal.

  • Montmorillonite modified with surfactants was efficient in nitrate removal.

  • Silica modified with surfactants was efficient for bromate removal.

  • Adsorption column experiments were perform for oxyanios removal.

  • The column were sucsessfully re-used until twice.

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Supplementary data