Sorption of acetaminophen, 17alpha-ethynyl estradiol, nalidixic acid, and norfloxacin to silica, alumina. and a hydrophobic medium

Water Research
Oranuj LorphensriChintana Saiwan

Abstract

Two pure minerals and a hydrophobic medium were selected to study sorption of pharmaceuticals. The sorption of four pharmaceuticals, acetaminophen (analgesic), 17alpha-ethynyl estradiol (synthetic hormone), nalidixic acid (antibiotic), and norfloxacin (antibiotic), was evaluated with silica, alumina, and Porapak P (a hydrophobic medium). Alumina and silica were selected to represent positively charged and negatively charged aquifer mineral surfaces at neutral pH, respectively, while Porapak P was selected to represent the hydrophobic organic content of an aquifer medium. At neutral pH, acetaminophen, the least hydrophobic pharmaceutical, showed no significant sorption to any of the media, while 17alpha-ethynyl estradiol, the most hydrophobic pharmaceutical, showed significant sorption to Porapak P. Nalidixic acid, which has a carboxyl functional group that is anionic at neutral pH, showed significant adsorption to the positively charged alumina. Norfloxacin, with both a carboxyl (anionic) and a piperazynyl (cationic) group, can exist in four forms (neutral, cationic, anionic, and zwitterionic) depending on the aqueous pH. Norfloxacin also showed significant adsorption than nalidixic acid. Both nalidixic acid and norfloxacin ads...Continue Reading

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