Halloysite nanoclay supported adsorptive removal of oxytetracycline antibiotic from aqueous media

Sammani Ramanayaka, Binoy Sarkar, Asitha T. Cooray, Yong Sik Ok, Meththika Vithanage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Halloysite nanoclay was utilized to retain aqueous oxytetracycline (OTC) which is extensively used in the veterinary industry. The micro-structure and functionality of the nanoclay were characterized through spectroscopic techniques before and after adsorption. The OTC removal experiments were performed at different pH conditions (pH 3.0–9.0), ionic strengths (0.001, 0.01, 0.1 M NaNO3) and contact time (up to 32 h) at an initial 25 mg/L OTC concentration with 1.0 g/L halloysite. Oxytetracycline adsorption was pH dependent, and the best pH was observed in the range of pH 3.5–5.5 at a 0.001 M ionic strength. At pH 3.5, the maximum OTC adsorption amount was 21 mg/g which translated to 68% removal of the initial OTC loading. Positively charged inner lumen and negatively charged outer lumen of the tubular halloysite structure led to form inner-sphere complexes with the anionic and cationic forms of OTC, respectively. A rapid adsorption of OTC was observed in the kinetic study where 62% OTC was adsorbed in 90 min. Pseudo-second order equation obeyed by the kinetic data indicated that the adsorption was governed by chemisorption, whereas Hill isotherm equation was the most fitted with a maximum adsorption capacity of 52.4 mg/g indicating a cooperative adsorption phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121301
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 15


  • Adsorption
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Nanomaterials
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Water pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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