Comprehensive evaluation of adsorption performances of carbonaceous materials for sulfonamide antibiotics removal
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Sulfonamide antibiotics have highly toxic effects on humans and other organisms within the food chain. Adsorption by various carbonaceous materials is an effective method for removing them from the aqueous environment. Batch adsorption experiments were conducted between adsorbents and sulfamethoxazole (SMX) by studies of characterization, isotherm model, and kinetic model. The adsorption performances and mechanism of fifteen carbonaceous materials to remove SMX have been comprehensively evaluated. Results of the characterization showed that not only porosity, but also surface chemistry plays an important role in the adsorption process. Changes in the type and quantity of functional groups before and after adsorption are positive for the recyclability of carbonaceous materials. Moreover, kinetic studies showed that the adsorption process followed the pseudo-second-kinetic model and the intra-particle diffusion model. Four adsorbents (i.e., W-GAC, 3M-GAC, GP, and PAC) in this study have the best performance in each corresponding category in terms of the adsorption of SMX. Therefore, the results provide an indispensable reference for evaluating the adsorption performances of a variety of carbonaceous materials, and thus can support the selection of adsorbents for different applications. Graphical abstract.
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