The triple mechanisms of atenolol adsorption on ca-montmorillonite: Implication in pharmaceutical wastewater treatment

Po Hsiang Chang, Wei Teh Jiang, Binoy Sarkar, Wendong Wang, Zhaohui Li

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The adsorption of atenolol (AT) from aqueous solutions by Ca-montmorillonite (SAz-2) was investigated in batch studies under different physicochemical conditions. The AT existed in neutral un-dissociated form at pH 10, and was adsorbed on dioctahedral smectite (SAz-2) obeying the Langmuir isotherm with a maximum adsorption capacity of 330 mmol/kg. The kinetic adsorption suggested that both strong and weak adsorption sites existed on SAz-2 and participated in the adsorption mechanisms. The amount of exchangeable cations desorbed from SAz-2 during AT adsorption was linearly correlated with the amounts of adsorbed AT having slopes of 0.43, which implied that a cation exchange based adsorption mechanism was also in place. A comprehensive basal spacing change of SAz-2 was observed after AT adsorption on the clay mineral when tested with or without AT recrystallization. The intercalation of AT into the SAz-2 interlayers did not result in swelling due to the low adsorption capacity of the drug. Prominent interactions between the pharmaceutical molecule and SAz-2 were evidenced by apparent shifts of the infrared absorption bands after adsorption. The interlayer configurations and hydrogen bonding of AT on SAz-2 were also supported by infrared, X-ray diffraction and thermogravimetric analyses. This study suggested that SAz-2 is an excellent material to remove not only AT from pharmaceutical wastewater, but can potentially remove many other β-receptor blocker drugs. The results helped us to understand the possible interlayer configurations and adsorption mechanisms of the drugs on natural clay mineral based adsorbents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2858
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)

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