Sorption of norfloxacin, sulfamerazine and oxytetracycline by KOH-modified biochar under single and ternary systems

Jiwei Luo, Xue Li, Chengjun Ge, Karin Müller, Huamei Yu, Peng Huang, Jiatong Li, Daniel C.W. Tsang, Nanthi S. Bolan, Jörg Rinklebe, Hailong Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


Pollution of water by single antibiotics has been investigated in depth. However, in reality, a wide range of different contaminants is often mixed in the aquatic environment (contaminant cocktail). Here, single and competitive sorption dynamics of ionizable norfloxacin (NOR), sulfamerazine (SMR) and oxytetracycline (OTC) by both pristine and modified biochars were investigated. Sorption kinetics of the three antibiotics was faster in ternary-solute than single-solute system. Sorption efficiency was enhanced in the competitive system for NOR by the pristine biochar, and for OTC by both the pristine biochar and the modified biochar, while SMR sorption by the pristine biochar and the KOH-modified biochar was inhibited. Sorption was governed by electrostatic interactions, & #x03C0;-π EDA and H-bonds for antibiotics sorption by biochar. SMR and OTC sorption by biochar was influenced by cation bridging and surface complexation, respectively. This research finding will guide the development of treatment procedures for water polluted by multiple antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-392
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Antibiotics
  • Competitive sorption
  • Engineered biochar
  • Organic pollutant
  • Sorption modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

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