Triclosan (TCS) is an emergent pollutant with wide-ranging deleterious effects on aquatic organisms and humans. There is a growing concern about the development of low-cost and efficient treatment systems for the removal of TCS from water. This report describes the performance of a prototype of a continuous flow, fixed bed column device with physically entrapped industrial by-product chitosan. The effects of initial TCS concentration, adsorbent dose in the column matrix, and flow rate were investigated with regard to removal efficiency (%), adsorption capacity and breakthrough time. To understand the thermodynamic properties of the adsorption process, three kinetic models – Thomas, Yoon–Nelson and Adams–Bohart – were applied to the experimental data for the prediction of characteristic parameters of the adsorption process. The Yoon–Nelson model showed the best agreement between the experimental and calculated values. The column showed a near saturation state (Ct/C0 = 0.92; C0 and Ct are the concentration of TCS before and after treatment.) at 90 mg L−1 TCS concentration after 60 minutes. In view of non-availability of a treatment process for the emergent pollutant TCS, the data of the present investigation will facilitate the development of novel prototypes of column bed reactors for the removal of TCS.

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