Removal of tetracycline antibiotic from contaminated water media by multi-walled carbon nanotubes: operational variables, kinetics, and equilibrium studies

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were purified and oxidized by a 4 mol L−1 mixture of H2SO4:H2O2 and then were used as adsorbent for tetracycline (TC) adsorption from aqueous solutions. The purified MWCNTs were characterized using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, and N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms. The adsorption of TC onto the MWCNT was investigated as a function of the initial pH of the solution, adsorbent dosage, and background electrolyte cations and anions. The results of the one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that Fe3+ ion significantly affected and decreased TC adsorption onto the MWCNT (P-value < 0.05), while other studied cations and anions did not affect TC adsorption (P-value>0.05). Nonlinear pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order, general order, and Avrami fractionary-order kinetic models were used to investigate the kinetics of TC adsorption. The fractionary-order kinetic model provided the best fit to experimental data. In addition, the adsorption isotherms data were well described by nonlinear equation of the Liu isotherm model with the maximum adsorption capacity of 253.38 mg g−1. The results of this study indicate that the oxidized MWCNTs can be used as an effective adsorbent for TC removal from aqueous solutions.

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