Sorption process of municipal solid waste biochar-montmorillonite composite for ciprofloxacin removal in aqueous media

Ahmed Ashiq, Binoy Sarkar, Nadeesh Adassooriya, Janitha Walpita, Anushka Upamali Rajapaksha, Yong Sik Ok, Meththika Vithanage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluates a novel adsorbent for ciprofloxacin (CPX) removal from water using a composite derived from municipal solid waste biochar (MSW-BC) and montmorillonite (MMT). The composite adsorbent and pristine materials were characterized using powder X-Ray Diffraction (PXRD), Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) before and after the adsorption. Batch experiments were conducted to study the mechanisms involved in the adsorption process. Ciprofloxacin sorption mechanisms were interpreted in terms of its pH-dependency and the distribution coefficients. The SEM images confirmed the successful binding of MMT onto the MSW-BC through flaky structure along with a porous morphology. Encapsulation of MMT onto MSW-BC was exhibited through changes in the basal spacing of MMT via PXRD analysis. Results from FTIR spectra indicated the presence of functional groups for both pristine materials and the composite that were involved in the adsorption reaction. The Hill isotherm model and pseudo-second-order and Elovich kinetic models fitted the batch sorption data, which explained the surface heterogeneity of the composite and cooperative adsorption mechanisms. Changes made to the MSW-BC through the introduction of MMT, enhanced the active sites on the composite adsorbent, thereby improving its interaction with ionizable CPX molecules giving high sorption efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124384
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec


  • Antibiotics
  • Biochar
  • Emerging contaminants
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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