The adsorption of four phenolic compounds (gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, vanillic acid and syringic acid) is investigated using a synthesized mesoporous carbon on both single and multi-component synthetic solutions. Some correlation of the adsorption capacity of the carbon and the nature of adsorbate could be made, except for gallic acid whose concentration decrease seems to be not exclusively due to adsorption but also to polymerization reaction. In the multi-component mixture, negative effects in the adsorption capacity are observed probably due to competition for the active centers of the adsorbent surface. In desorption studies, ethanol presents better performance than water and acetonitrile. Vanillic acid is the compound with the higher adsorption and interestingly it is then possible to desorb a relatively high amount of it from the adsorbent, which may represent a possibility for a selective recovery of vanillic acid. These results present a potential way to treat the wastewater from the cork industry.

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