Journal of oleo science

Removal of sulfa drugs by sewage treatment in aqueous solution systems: activated carbon treatment and ozone oxidation.

PMID 22450123


This study investigates the activated carbon (AC) treatment and ozone oxidation of the sulfa drugs--sulfamethoxazole (SMX), sulfamonomethoxine (SMM), sulfadimidine (SDD), and sulfadimethoxine (SDM)--in aqueous solution systems. Three AC samples were prepared from Shirasagi (AC1 and AC2) and coal (AC3), and the surface functional groups, solution pH, specific surface areas, pore volumes, and morphologies of the three samples were evaluated. The specific surface areas were in the following order: AC1 (1391 m²/g) > AC2 (1053 m²/g) > AC3 (807 m²/g). The pore volume and mean pore diameter of AC3 were greater than those of AC1 and AC2. The concentration of sulfa drugs adsorbed onto the AC samples reached equilibrium within 150 h. Experimental data of the adsorption rate were fitted to a pseudo-second-order model. The amount of sulfa drugs adsorbed onto the AC samples was in the order of SDM < SMM < SDD < SMX; the mechanism of adsorption of the sulfa drugs onto the AC samples depended on the hydrophobicity of the AC surface. The adsorption isotherm data were fitted to Freundlich and Langmuir models. Ozone was generated from oxygen gas using an A-27 ozone generator, and the complete degradation of the sulfa drugs by ozone treatment at 60 mL/min was achieved within 50 min. Ozone treatment caused the structure of the sulfa drugs to decompose via ozone oxidation.