Sorption of benzimidazole anthelmintics to dissolved organic matter surrogates and sewage sludge

Hyo Jung Kim, Dong Soo Lee, Jung Hwan Kwon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The sorption coefficients of four rarely studied zwitterionic pharmaceuticals (benzimidazoles: fenbendazole, albendazole, thiabendazole and flubendazole) and four metabolites of fenbendazole to various dissolved organic matter surrogates (humic acid, sodium dodecyl sulfate micelle, hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin and liposomes made of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC), and sewage sludge) were measured to extend the available sorption coefficients and eventually to evaluate their environmental fate in soil and water environment. For the entire range of dissolved organic matters, the more hydrophobic fenbendazole and albendazole had higher sorption coefficients than thiabendazole and flubendazole, indicating that the traditional hypothesis of hydrophobic interaction holds for zwitterionic benzimidazole anthelmintics. However, the sorption coefficients of a given benzimidazole to selected dissolved organic matters (DOMs) varied within an order of magnitude. The measured Koc values decreased in the order of fenbendazole, albendazole, thiabendazole and flubendazole for sewage sludge and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin whereas the orders were different for the other DOM surrogates, implying the hydrophilic nature of sewage sludge. This was also supported by the (N+O)/C elemental ratio of the sewage sludge sample used in this study. The correlations between logKoc and logKow were weak (r2=0.28-0.64) and the magnitude of the sorption coefficients to the hydrophilic organic matters (hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin and sewage sludge) were similar to or slightly smaller than those for the hydrophobic organic matters (humic acids and liposome). This suggests that specific hydrophilic interactions also play a significant role in the sorption of moderately hydrophobic benzimidazoles to organic matters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-262
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean Government (MEST) (No. 2008-0062072). We thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments to improve the quality of the manuscript. We thank Dr. Sung-Hwa Yoon for providing fenbendazole and its four metabolites and Dr. Hee-Ra Chang for providing the sewage sludge sample.


  • Environmental fate
  • Natural organic matters
  • Poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)
  • Veterinary pharmaceuticals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • General Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry


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