In this study, the removal of parabens from waters, using a combined treatment of magnetic ion exchange resins and subsequent filtration through nanofiltration membranes, was investigated. The selected parabens were methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. Two different magnetic anionic exchanger resins, MIEX® DOC and MIEX® GOLD, and two nanofiltration membranes (NF), NF-90 and DESAL-HL, were tested. The study was carried out using mono and multicomponent systems, using deionized water and natural waters sampled from two different rivers. In this way, competitive and matrix effects could be evaluated. The results showed, that with the combined treatments, higher elimination rates were obtained. The best removal efficiencies were obtained when the DOC resin was combined with both NF-90 and DESAL-HL membranes. Thus, butylparaben and propylparaben reached removal yields around 100% with both membranes, whereas the corresponding values for methylparaben were 91%, when the NF-90 membrane was employed, or 92% when DESAL-HL membrane was utilized. The elimination rates of ethylparaben with the same treatments were 96% with the NF-90 and 97% when the DESAL-HL membrane was combined with the DOC resin. The elimination percentages were higher as the paraben alkyl chain length increased. In addition, no competitiveness or matrix effects were detected. When the MIEX® GOLD resin was used for pre-treatment, membrane fouling worsened which indicated that resin selection needs to be carefully considered to achieve the best results.
Keywords: MIEX resin; Magnetic resin; Nanofiltration; Parabens; Water treatment.
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