Aquatic environment

Synthesis of carbon-coated magnetic nanocomposite (Fe3O4@C) and its application for sulfonamide antibiotics removal from water

Xiaolei Bao , Zhimin Qiang , Jih-Hsing Chang , Weiwei Ben , Jiuhui Qu


Received May 17, 2013,Revised October 19, 2013, Accepted , Available online April 01, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 962-969

The occurrence of antibiotics in the environment has recently raised serious concerns regarding their potential threat to human health and aquatic ecosystem. A new magnetic nanocomposite, Fe3O4@C (Fe3O4 coated with carbon), was synthesized, characterized, and then applied to remove five commonly-used sulfonamides (SAs) from water. Due to its combinational merits of the outer functionalized carbon shell and the inner magnetite core, Fe3O4@C exhibited a high adsorption affinity for selected SAs and a fast magnetic separability. The adsorption kinetics of SAs on Fe3O4@C could be expressed by the pseudo second-order model. The adsorption isotherms were fitted well with the Dual-mode model, revealing that the adsorption process consisted of an initial partitioning stage and a subsequent hole-filling stage. Solution pH exerted a strong impact on the adsorption process with the maximum removal efficiencies (74% to 96%) obtained at pH 4.8 for all selected SAs. Electrostatic force and hydrogen bonding were two major driving forces for adsorption, and electron-donor-acceptor interactions may also make a certain contribution. Because the synthesized Fe3O4@C showed comprehensive advantages of high adsorptivity, fast magnetic separability, and prominent reusability, it has potential applications in water treatment.

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