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Sorption of Sulfonamides and Tetracyclines to Montmorillonite Clay

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The current study investigated the sorption of sulfadimethoxine (SMT), sulfamethoxazole (SMX), tetracycline (TET), and oxytetracycline (OTC) to Na-rich montmorillonite clay in synthetic effluent (SE) and field wastewater effluent (FE). Both SMT and SMX showed a low sorption capacity and are therefore likely to be highly mobile in the environment, while the sorption of TET to clay in environmental pH range (6.5–7.5) showed similarly high adsorption capacity. Differences in sorption capacities of TET and OTC to SE or FE were attributed to the various concentrations of divalent cations in the effluents. In addition, differences in sorption of OTC or TET to SE were attributed to their different molecular structure. Moreover, the adsorption of TET in SE and FE showed linear adsorption isotherms and fitted to Freundlich model. Further experiments showed that addition of humic acid or SE to TET sorbed to clay did not enhance or suppress the sorption of TET to clay.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the Porter School for Environmental Studies (PSES) at Tel-Aviv University for their financial support and Professor Giora Rytwo for his essential comments.

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Correspondence to Dror Avisar.

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Avisar, D., Primor, O., Gozlan, I. et al. Sorption of Sulfonamides and Tetracyclines to Montmorillonite Clay. Water Air Soil Pollut 209, 439–450 (2010).

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  • Sorption
  • Montmorillonite clay
  • Antibiotics
  • Pharmaceutical contaminants
  • Wastewater effluent