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Effect of particle size on adsorption of norfloxacin and tetracycline onto suspended particulate matter in lake

Luo, Yunhe, Chen, Jianqiu, Wu, Congyanghui, Zhang, Jingjing, Tang, Jingyang, Shang, Jingge, Liao, Qianjiahua
Environmental pollution 2019 v.244 pp. 549-559
adsorption, antibiotics, cation exchange capacity, lakes, moieties, norfloxacin, organic matter, particle size, particulates, sediments, sorption isotherms, surface area, China
Aquatic systems are important sinks of antibiotics; however, their final destination has not been completely elucidated. Therefore, we investigated the adsorption behaviors of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in lakes to support the analysis of the migration and transformation of antibiotics in lacustrine environments. SPM was collected from Meiliang Bay (ML) and Gonghu Bay (GH) in Lake Taihu, China, which was sieved into four particle sizes of >300, 150–300, 63–150, and <63 μm for subsequent antibiotic adsorption experiments. All particles exhibited rapid and substantial adsorption of tetracycline and norfloxacin. Most size fractions fit a Langmuir model, indicative of monomolecular adsorption, except the <63-μm fraction, which fit a Freundlich model. Particle size had a substantial influence on antibiotic adsorption; the 63–150-μm fraction had the greatest adsorption capacity, while the >300-μm fraction had the lowest capacity. The influence of particle size on adsorption was mainly related to SPM physicochemical properties, such as cation exchange capacity, surface area, and organic matter content, rather than types of functional groups. Considering the mass ratios, the <63-μm fraction had the greatest contribution to adsorption. Antibiotics adsorbed onto the SPM from ML and GH exhibited different behaviors. The ML SPM settled more readily into sediment, and larger, denser particles were more resistant to resuspension. Conversely, the GH SPM was more likely to be found in the water column, and larger, less-dense particles remained in the water column. These results help improve our understanding of the interactions between SPM and antibiotics in aquatic systems.