Oxytetracycline Sorption Onto Iraqi Montmorillonite

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This paper assesses the use of certified Iraqi montmorillonite clay as a potential sorbent for the removal of oxytetracycline (OTC) from aqueous solutions. The clay is characterized by a cation exchange capacity of 0.756 meq g-1 and a zero point charge at pH 8.7. Aqueous solutions of OTC were equilibrated with montmorillonite under various experimental conditions, such as OTC concentration, pH and clay content, for 24 h at fixed ionic strength. Two forms of montmorillonite were evaluated: regular and iron-modified form. The effect of pH was minor on OTC adsorption. Kinetic study revealed that the sorption follows a pseudo-second-order model. Sorption isotherm showed a good fit with the Freundlich model. OTC sorption onto Fe-saturated montmorillonite was analyzed statistically using a response surface design to study the effects of experimental conditions. The introduction of iron improved the adsorption characteristics of the clay due to the ability of ferric ions to make stable complexes with OTC. The most favorable operating conditions for the treatment were deemed as follows: clay content, 6.85 g L-1, oxytetracycline concentration, 1.0 mmol L-1 and pH, 5.5 for the iron-modified form.



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