Adsorption of clofibric acid and ketoprofen onto powdered activated carbon: effect of natural organic matter.
The adsorption of two acidic pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs), clofibric acid and ketoprofen, onto powdered activated carbon (PAC) was investigated with a particular focus on the influence of natural organic matter (NOM) on the adsorption of the PhACs. Suwannee River humic acids (SRHAs) were used as a substitute for NOM. Batch adsorption experiments were conducted to obtain adsorption kinetics and adsorption isotherms with and without SRHAs in the system. The adsorption isotherms and adsorption kinetics showed that the adsorption ofclofibric acid was not significantly affected by the presence of SRHAs at a concentration of 5 mg (as carbon) L(-1). An adsorption capacity of 70 to 140 mg g(-1) was observed and equilibrium was reached within 48 h. In contrast, the adsorption of ketoprofen was markedly decreased (from about 120 mg g(-1) to 70-100 mg g(-1)) in the presence of SRHAs. Higher initial concentrations of clofibric acid than ketoprofen during testing may explain the different behaviours that were observed. Also, the more hydrophobic ketoprofen molecules may have less affinity for PAC when humic acids (which are hydrophilic) are present. The possible intermolecular forces that could account for the different behaviour of clofibric acid and ketoprofen adsorption onto PAC are discussed. In particular, the relevance of electrostatic forces, electron donor-acceptor interaction, hydrogen bonding and London dispersion forces are discussed
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