Sorption of tetracycline on organo-montmorillonites

N. Liu, M.X. Wang, M.M. Liu, F. Liu, L.P. Weng, L.K. Koopal, W.F. Tan

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Tetracycline (TC) is a veterinary antibiotic that is frequently detected as pollutant in the environment. Powerful adsorbents are required for removing TC. The present paper compares the TC adsorption capacity of Na-montmorillonite (Na-mont) with six organo-montmorillonites (organo-monts). Three quaternary ammonium cations (QACs) with different alkyl-chain lengths were used as modifiers. Powder X-ray diffraction indicated that the d(001) values of organo-monts increased with increasing the QACs loading and alkyl-chain length. The CECs of the organo-monts were substantially lower than that of Na-mont and decreased with QACs chain length and increased loading. The modeling of the adsorption kinetics revealed that the processes of TC adsorption on the tested samples could be well fitted by the pseudo-second-order equation. The maximum adsorption capacities of TC on the organo-monts (1000-2000 mmol/kg) were considerably higher than that on Na-mont (769 mmol/kg). Both the Langmuir and Freundlich model could fit the adsorption isotherms. The TC adsorption to the organo-monts increase significantly with decreasing the pH below 5.5 because of the electrostatic interaction, and a high QACs loading performed better than a low loading at around pH 3.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • oxytetracycline
  • adsorption
  • cations
  • soils
  • clay
  • pharmaceuticals
  • metronidazole
  • olaquindox
  • mobility
  • surfaces

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    Liu, N., Wang, M. X., Liu, M. M., Liu, F., Weng, L. P., Koopal, L. K., & Tan, W. F. (2012). Sorption of tetracycline on organo-montmorillonites. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 225-226, 28-35.