Sorption of pharmaceuticals to soil organic matter in a constructed wetland by electrostatic interaction
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- Sorption of pharmaceuticals to soil organic matter in a constructed wetland by electrostatic interaction
- Park, Jongkwan; Cho, Kyung Hwa; Lee, Eunkyung; Lee, Sungyun; Cho, Jaeweon
- Pharmaceuticals; Constructed wetland; Electrostatic interaction; Sorption; LC-MS/MS
- Issue Date
- ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
- SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, v.635, no., pp.1345 - 1350
- There is a growing interest in the removal of pharmaceuticals from wastewater because pharmaceuticals have potential ecotoxicological effects. Among several removal mechanisms, the sorption of pharmaceuticals to sediment organic matter is an important mechanism related to the mobility of pharmaceuticals. This study investigated the sorption of pharmaceuticals to soil organic matter (SOM) by electrostatic interactions. SOM located on the surface of soil/sediment generally has a negative charge because of the functional groups present (i.e., carboxylic and phenolic groups). Thus, the electrical characteristics of SOM can induce electrical attraction with positively charged chemical compounds. In this study, SOM was extracted from soils under different aquatic plants (Acorus and Typha) in a constructed wetland in Korea. Experiments were carried out with the following three pharmaceuticals with different electrical characteristics at pH 7: atenolol (positive charge; pKa 9.5), carbamazepine (neutral; no pKa), and ibuprofen (negative charge; pKa 4.9). The SOM in the Acorus pond had a higher hydrophobicity and electrical charge density than that in the Typha pond. Regarding the sorption efficiency between SOM and charged pharmaceuticals, atenolol showed highest sorption efficiency (~60%), followed by carbamazepine (~40%) and ibuprofen (<~30%). In addition, the removal efficiency of the targeted pharmaceuticals in the constructed wetland was estimated by comparing the concentrations of the pharmaceuticals at sampling points with flowing water. The results showed that the removal efficiency of atenolol and carbamazepine was almost 50%, whereas that of ibuprofen was only ~10%. A comparison of the results of lab-scale and field experiments showed that electrostatic interaction is one of the major pharmaceutical removal mechanisms in a constructed wetland.
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