Biosorption of pharmaceuticals from water using Moringa oleífera as biosorbent
Agustina Raquel de Olivera
Ramiro José Espinheira Martins
The pharmaceuticals as emerging contaminants have become one of the most controversial environmental problems at global scale. Over the years, the presence of antibiotics and anti- inflammatory inside rivers, lakes, oceans, and even inside drinking water streams, have increased. The wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) do not account with the necessary technology to remove concentrations between the range ng/l-mg/l and therefore, arise the need to develop new methods able to remove contaminants in an effective, low cost and environmentally friendly way. The term of “Biosorption” appears as a possible solution. It is a separation process inside the area of chemical engineering which follows the same fundaments of adsorption with the only difference that uses biodegradable materials as adsorbent (biosorbent). The present work is focused in studying the potential adsorption capacity of Moringa oleífera (MO) to remove Diclofenac (DCF) and Oxytetracycline (OTC) from water. Due to its nutritional, antimicrobial, and coagulant properties, Moringa oleífera is considered one of the most famous plants around the world. While DCF and OTC have become two of the pharmaceuticals with most contribution to environmental pollution. Through different experiences, the adsorption process of Diclofenac could be described as an exothermic phenomenon with high pH dependence, governed by the mechanism of chemisorption while the removal process of OTC could be considered as an endothermic, highly pH dependent process, governed by the mechanism of physisorption.