Insight into sorption mechanism of phenanthrene onto gemini modified palygorskite through a multi-level fuzzy-factorial inference approach
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A multi-level fuzzy-factorial inference approach was proposed to examine the sorption behavior of phenanthrene on palygorskite modified with a gemini surfactant. Fuzzy set theory was used to determine five experimentally controlled environmental factors with triangular membership functions, including initial concentration, added humid acid dose, ionic strength, temperature, and pH. The statistical significance of factors and their interactions affecting the sorption process was revealed through a multi-level factorial experiment. Initial concentration, ionic strength, and pH were identified as the most significant factors based on the multi-way ANOVA results. Examination of curvature effects of factors revealed the nonlinear complexity inherent in the sorption process. The potential interactions among experimental factors were detected, which is meaningful for providing a deep insight into the sorption mechanisms under the influences of factors at different levels.