Desorption from soil clay components may affect the transport and fate of antibiotics in the environment. In this study, ciprofloxacin (CIP) desorption from a kaolinite and a montmorillonite was investigated under different pHs, different concentrations of metal cations of various valencies (Na+, Ca2+ and Al3+) and a cationic surfactant hexadecyltrimethylammonium (HDTMA), and different desorption cycles. Desorption of CIP from kaolinite and montmorillonite was strongly pH-dependent and desorption isotherms were well fitted with the Langmuir equation. The percentage of CIP desorbed increased with increasing initial CIP loadings, desorbing cation concentrations, and desorption cycles. Comparatively, CIP was more readily desorbed from kaolinite than from montmorillonite. Moreover, the hysteresis index values were all negative, suggesting that the presence of metal cations and HDTMA in solution promoted CIP desorption from clay minerals, owing to cation exchange. The XRD analyses indicated that desorption of CIP occurred from both external and interlayer surfaces of montmorillonite. Formation of Al-CIP complex on solid surface and then detachment of Al-CIP from the solid surface may contribute to the higher CIP desorption by Al3+ in comparison to Na+ and Ca2+.
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