Tuning tetracycline removal from aqueous solution onto activated 2:1 layered clay mineral: Characterization, sorption and mechanistic studies

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Journal of Hazardous Materials


© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Water pollution due to emerging contaminants (especially pharmaceuticals) is a major environmental threat which results in the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria/resistance genes in the aquatic environment. Therefore, robust and cost-effective methods are required to address this problem. In this study, thermal activation was opted for the modification of natural bentonite clay (BC) and utilized to investigate the adsorptive removal of tetracycline (TC) from aqueous solution. The physicochemical surface properties of the raw and modified bentonite samples were also investigated. The BET analysis revealed that the thermally activated bentonite (TB) has better properties than BC. The surface area of TB was found to be more than two-fold higher compared to that of BC. The FTIR spectra exhibited the existence of Al[sbnd]OH, Si[sbnd]O and Si[sbnd]O[sbnd]Si functional groups in the samples, confirming the presence of hydrated aluminosilicate in the clay. The effects of various operating parameters were analyzed via optimization studies. The maximum monolayer adsorption capacity estimated by Langmuir model was found to be 156.7 and 388.1 mg g−1 for BC and TB, respectively. Furthermore, fixed-bed column studies were performed to get insights into the adsorption behavior of TB in a dynamic system. The mechanism of TC adsorption by TB was successfully explored.

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