Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 19, pp 16396–16406 | Cite as

The efficiency of the multi-walled carbon nanotubes used for antibiotics removal from wastewaters generated by animal farms

  • Maria-Loredana Soran
  • Ocsana OprişEmail author
  • Ildikó Lung
  • Irina Kacso
  • Alin S. Porav
  • Manuela Stan
Research Article


In the recent years, residual antibiotics are considered to be emerging environmental pollutants due to their continuous input and persistence into the aquatic ecosystem even at low concentrations. Therefore, these are necessary to develop efficient methods for the wastewater treatment. The present paper describes the efficiency of several types of multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) for the retention of the selected antibiotics (ampicillin, ceftazidime, cefepime, imipenem, piperacillin, tazobactam, tetracycline, erythromycin, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, vancomycin, gentamicin, sulfamethoxazole, and thrimetoprim) from aqueous (synthetic) solutions and wastewater samples. The functionalized MWCNTs were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The obtained antibiotic percentage of retention was evaluated by quantitative assessment using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with the diode array, fluorescence, and mass spectrometer detector (HPLC-DAD/FD/MS), after the solid-phase extraction (SPE) with Oasis HLB cartridges. The retention percentages of the selected antibiotics from waters ranged between ∼40 and 97%, with the exception of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim. The best percentages of retention were obtained for norfloxacin 97.03% and ciprofloxacin 97.10%. The suspensions of the MWCNTs improved the antibiotics removal from wastewaters. Removal of antibiotics from wastewaters using nanotechnology, in order to reduce their negative effects and antibiotic resistance, is a promising tool in the future wastewaters treatment.


Antibiotic Box–Behnken design Decontamination Nanomaterial Removal Environmental sample 



This work was funded through the EEA 2009-2014 Financial Mechanism under the RO04—Reduction of hazardous substances scheme [grant number 3499/20.05.2015].


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria-Loredana Soran
    • 1
  • Ocsana Opriş
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ildikó Lung
    • 1
  • Irina Kacso
    • 1
  • Alin S. Porav
    • 1
  • Manuela Stan
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute for Research and Development of Isotopic and Molecular TechnologiesCluj-NapocaRomania

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