Environmental Earth Sciences

, 78:630 | Cite as

Different surface complexation patterns of gatifloxacin at typical iron mineral/water interfaces

  • Xiangzhi Li
  • Erping BiEmail author
Original Article


Gatifloxacin (GAT), a new generation fluoroquinolone antibiotic, is widely used in the world but its environmental behavior has been rarely studied. In this study, the adsorption and desorption characteristics of GAT interacting with goethite and hematite at pH 6.0 ± 0.1 were investigated by batch experiments combining with attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. The results indicated that the total desorption ratio of GAT from goethite (70.8–84.8%) after three desorption steps was far higher than that from hematite (7.8–39.4%). In GAT adsorption onto goethite and hematite, a strong dependence on ionic strength was only observed for goethite. These all suggested that outer-sphere complexation was the main mechanism of GAT adsorption onto goethite while inner-sphere complexation dominated the adsorption onto hematite. No evidence for inner-sphere coordination was found at the goethite surface in this study under our conditions. Due to the difference in adsorption mechanisms, the pH at point of zero charge (pHpzc) of hematite increased by about 1.0 unit after adsorption in relation to the pristine hematite, but the increase of goethite pHpzc was less than 0.3 unit. ATR-FTIR observations indicated that the surface hydration-shared ion pairs involving in strong hydrogen-bond interactions were predominant in GAT adsorption onto goethite. However, a bridging bidentate surface complex with hematite was most likely formed. Our results are helpful to advance understanding of the importance of comparatively strong ionic hydrogen-bonding interactions for adsorption processes of fluoroquinolones at the goethite/water interface. The findings of this study suggest that soils with goethite as the main mineral compositions may have very limited retention ability for GAT under field conditions.


Gatifloxacin Goethite Hematite Desorption Inner-sphere complexation Outer-sphere complexation 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41472231) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2652017171).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Water Resources and Environment, Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, and MOE Key Laboratory of Groundwater Circulation and Environmental EvolutionChina University of Geosciences (Beijing)BeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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