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Stevensite-based geofilter for the retention of tetracycline from water

Fernández, Raúl, Ruiz, Ana Isabel, García-Delgado, Carlos, González-Santamaría, Daniel Enrique, Antón-Herrero, Rafael, Yunta, Felipe, Poyo, Caudia, Hernández, Andrea, Eymar, Enrique, Cuevas, Jaime
The Science of the total environment 2018 v.645 pp. 146-155
adsorbents, adsorption, effluents, groundwater, magnesium, pH, sand, sodium chloride, sodium nitrate, soil, sorption isotherms, surface water, tetracycline, wastewater
The antibiotic tetracycline, is considered a contaminant of emerging concern due to its presence in wastewater effluents, surface waters and groundwaters. Adsorption of tetracycline on soils and clays has been extensively studied to remove the contaminant from the water. A decreasing adsorption as the pH increases is normally reported in the pH range 3–9. However, adsorption isotherms performed on a commercial stevensite presented increasing adsorption with the increasing pH, in the pH range 2–8. This is very interesting since the pH in natural and wasterwaters are normally in the range 6–8. A laboratory design of a geofilter using a mixture of sand and stevensite was tested against an inflow solution of tetracycline 1 g/L, NaNO3 0.1 M and pH = 7 in an advective transport cell experiment. The number of tetracycline molecules exceed by >3 times the number exchangeable positions in the stevensite geofilter. Under these conditions, the TC adsorption on the geofilter reaches 590 mg/g, surpassing the retention capacity of most adsorbents found in literature. Besides, the tetracycline is completely desorbed by the inflow of a saline solution (Mg(NO3)2 0.5 M, at pH = 2) with capacity to replace the exchangeable positions, thus, recovering the geofilter and the tetracycline.