Main content area

Adsorption of sulfamethoxazole on functionalized carbon nanotubes as affected by cations and anions

Zhang, Di, Pan, Bo, Wu, Min, Wang, Bin, Zhang, Huang, Peng, Hongbo, Wu, Di, Ning, Ping
Environmental pollution 2011 v.159 no.10 pp. 2616-2621
adsorbents, adsorption, anions, antibiotics, calcium, carbon nanotubes, cations, cesium, environmental factors, hydrogen bonding, hydrophobic bonding, pH, risk, sulfamethoxazole
The environmental risks of antibiotics have attracted lots of research attention, but their environmental behavior is not clear yet. Functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were used as model adsorbents and sulfamethoxazole (SMX) was used as a model antibiotic to investigate the effect of both cations (Ca²⁺, Cs⁺) and anions (phosphate) on antibiotics adsorption. Various mechanisms (such as electrostatic interaction, hydrophobic interaction, π–π and hydrogen bonds) play roles in SMX adsorption. Cations and anions could “wedge into” these mechanisms and thus alter SMX adsorption. This study emphasized that both increased and decreased SMX adsorption could be observed with the addition of cations/anions, depending on environmental conditions (such as pH in this current study). The net effect is the balance between the increased and decreased effects. The contribution of different mechanisms to the overall antibiotic adsorption on solid particles should be identified to accurately predict the apparent effect by cations and anions.