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Norfloxacin Sorption and Its Thermodynamics on Surface-Modified Carbon Nanotubes

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journal contribution
posted on 01.02.2010 by Zhenyu Wang, Xiaodong Yu, Bo Pan, Baoshan Xing
Adsorption on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) may affect the environmental behavior of organic contaminants including antibiotics. In this study, sorption of norfloxacin (NOR) onto graphitized multiwall CNTs (G−CNTs), carboxylated multiwall CNTs (C−CNTs), hydroxylated multiwall CNTs (H−CNTs), and activated carbon (AC) was investigated. All sorption isotherms were highly nonlinear and were fitted well by Freundlich and Polanyi−Manes models. AC showed the highest NOR sorption capacity because of its highest surface area. H−CNTs had much higher NOR sorption than C−CNTs, and the π−π electron donor−acceptor (EDA) interactions could explain the distinction between the two types of CNTs. Comparison of sorption coefficients at different pHs indicates that hydrophobic and electrostatic interaction also played major roles in sorption of NOR on CNTs. Furthermore, high sorption capacity and hysteresis of NOR on CNTs were demonstrated in this study, which needs to be considered for predicting environmental risks of CNTs and NOR. The results from thermodynamic analysis show that sorption of NOR on AC and CNTs was thermodynamically favorable and generally endothermic. Sorption site energy analysis illustrates a distribution of sorption energy, consistent with nonlinear isotherms, which indicates the heterogeneous sites on CNTs for NOR adsorption.