Adsorptive removal of trace oxytetracycline from water by acid-modified zeolite: influencing factors

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Because of the wide use of antibiotics in the livestock industry, trace tetracycline antibiotics are frequently detected in swine wastewater and water bodies near pig farms. Based on natural zeolite, modified zeolite was synthesized by treatment with nitric acid. As one kind of typical tetracyclines, oxytetracycline (OTC) was chosen as the target adsorbate. Removal of trace OTC by modified zeolite and the effects of several main water matrices on OTC adsorption were studied in detail. OTC removal efficiency by acid-modified zeolite was about 90%, compared to less than 20% by natural zeolite. In general, in acidic conditions the removal efficiency of OTC by modified zeolite was about 90%, which was much higher than 20–35% in alkaline conditions. An increase in ionic strength from 0.01 to 1.0 M led to a decrease in adsorption efficiency from 90 to 27%. The presence of 10.0 mg L−1 dissolved humic acid accelerated sorption of OTC on modified zeolite, while 100.0 mg L−1 humic acid resulted in the opposite effect. An increase in temperature contributed to enhancing the adsorption efficiency.

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