Determinative Role of Exchange Cation and Charge Density of Smectites on their Adsorption Capacity and Affinity for Aflatoxin B1
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Bentonite clays have long been used as additives in animal feed, aiming to improve pellet quality and prevent caking. Certain bentonites are also capable of deactivating aflatoxin B_(1) (AfB_(1)) in feed by adsorption, therefore, detoxifying the feed. However, a 10–fold difference in adsorption capacity has been observed among selected bentonites. The major mineralogical and chemical properties of smectites in determining their adsorption capacities for AfB_(1) are still poorly understood. Improved knowledge of the key controlling factors of aflatoxin adsorption to bentonite clays is needed to guide the selection, modification, and application of the clays as aflatoxin binders. The objective of this study was to test a hypothesis that a smectite's selectivity and adsorption capacity for aflatoxin was mainly determined by the size matching requirement on interlayer surface domains and the aflatoxin molecules. Three approaches were used to vary the size of nanometer-scaled nonpolar domains in the interlayer of smectites: 1) exchanging interlayer cations, 2) selecting natural bentonites with different cation exchange capacities (CEC), and 3) reducing charge density of a high CEC smectite. Six bentonites were fractionated, with their major mineralogical and chemical properties determined. Clay suspensions saturated with different cations were tested for aflatoxin adsorption. Some aflatoxin-smectite complexes were prepared and analyzed with FTIR and XRD. AfB_(1) adsorption isotherms were fitted with Langmuir, modified Langmuir with adsorption dependent affinity, and exponential Langmuir models. Divalent exchange cations with low hydration energy in general resulted in a much higher adsorption capacity and affinity for all six natural bentonite clays. Cations with smaller hydration radii tended to further enhance the adsorption process for aflatoxin on smectites. Charge density of smectite had shown significant effects on the adsorption capacity, affinity, and the isotherm shape. Aflatoxin adsorption isotherms on the six natural smectites and the CEC-reduced 5OK samples by Hofmann and Klemen effects suggested that there is an optimal CEC range between 80~110 cmol(+)/kg for the best aflatoxin binding smectites. When the smectite has a CEC within this range, the mineral has the highest affinity and adsorption capacity for AfB_(1). The aflatoxin adsorption results after cation exchange treatment, selection of different CEC smectites, and the CEC reduction on 5OK confirmed the importance of size and polarity matching on the nanometer scale in smectites’ adsorption for AfB_(1). All clay samples tested in this study were capable of adsorbing aflatoxin into interlayers, and the charge density seemed to have no effect on bonding strength.
Liu, Lian (2013). Determinative Role of Exchange Cation and Charge Density of Smectites on their Adsorption Capacity and Affinity for Aflatoxin B1. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from