Adsorption characteristics of diclofenac and sulfamethoxazole to graphene oxide in aqueous solution

Seung-Woo Nam, Chanil Jung, Hang Li, Miao Yu, Joseph R V Flora, Linkel K Boateng, Namguk Her, Kyung-Duk Zoh, Yeomin Yoon
Chemosphere 2015, 136: 20-6
The adsorptive properties of graphene oxide (GO) were characterized, and the binding energies of diclofenac (DCF) and sulfamethoxazole (SMX) on GO adsorption were predicted using molecular modeling. The adsorption behaviors of DCF and SMX were investigated in terms of GO dosage, contact time, and pH. Additionally, the effects of sonication on GO adsorption were examined. GO adsorption involves "oxygen-containing functional groups" (OCFGs) such as COOH, which exhibit negative charges over a wide range of pH values (pH 3-11). DCF (-18.8 kcal mol(-1)) had a more favorable binding energy on the GO surface than SMX (-15.9 kcal mol(-1)). Both DCF and SMX were removed from solution (adsorbed to GO), up to 35% and 12%, respectively, within 6h, and an increase in GO dosage enhanced the removal of DCF. Electrostatic repulsion occurred between dissociated DCF/SMX and the more negatively charged GO at basic pH (>pKa). The sonication of GO significantly improved the removal of DCF (75%) and SMX (30%) due to dispersion of exfoliated GO particles and the reduction of OCFGs on the GO surface. Both DCF and SMX in the adsorption isotherm were explained well by the Freundlich model. The results of this study can be used to maximize the adsorption capacities of micropollutants using GO in water treatment processes.

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