Removal of antibiotic sulfamethoxazole (SMX) by zero-valent iron (ZVI) was examined in the range of pH from 3.0 to 11.0 under oxic and anoxic conditions to clarify mechanisms of SMX removal in acidic, neutral and alkaline solutions. SMX removal was affected by solution pH and related to the speciation of SMX. Under the oxic condition, the maximums of SMX removal efficiency and rate were obtained at pH 3.0. The SMX removal efficiency decreased from 100 to 32% with increasing pH in the acidic solutions (3 ≦ pH ≦ 5) and increased to 88% in neutral and moderately alkaline solutions (6 ≦ pH ≦ 10). In highly alkaline solution (pH = 11), the SMX removal was significantly suppressed due to the formation of passive layer on ZVI surface. The removal rate of SMX under the oxic condition significantly declined with increasing pH. Under the anoxic condition, SMX removal was completed within 300 min in the acidic solutions and remained to less than 70% after 300 min in neutral and moderately alkaline solutions. For pH ≧ 10, no SMX removal practically occurred. The removal rate of SMX under the anoxic condition approximately remained constant in the acidic solution and largely decreased in neutral and moderately alkaline solutions. SMX removal by ZVI was found to be dominated by the reductive degradation and adsorption under both the oxic and anoxic conditions. It was concluded that ZVI has the potential for effective removal of antibiotic SMX under the oxic and anoxic conditions. A kinetic model could reasonably simulate the dynamic profiles of SMX removal.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Sep 15, 2017
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