Environmental Science and Pollution Research
January 2015, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 425-433
The purpose of this work was to quantify retention/release of tetracycline, oxytetracycline, and chlortetracycline on two soils, paying attention to sorption kinetics and to implications of the adsorption/desorption processes on transfer of these pollutants to the various environmental compartments. We used the stirred flow chamber (SFC) procedure to achieve this goal. All three antibiotics showed high affinity for both soils, with greater adsorption intensity for soil 1, the one with the highest organic matter and Al and Fe oxides contents. Desorption was always <15 %, exhibiting strong hysteresis in the adsorption/desorption processes. Adsorption was adequately modeled using a pseudo first-order equation with just one type of adsorption sites, whereas desorption was better adjusted considering both fast and slow sorption sites. The adsorption maximum (q max ) followed the sequence tetracycline > oxytetracycline > chlortetracycline in soil 1, with similar values for the three antibiotics and the sequence tetracycline > chlortetracycline > oxytetracycline in soil 2. The desorption sequences were oxytetracycline > tetracycline > chlortetracycline in soil 1 and oxytetracycline > chlortetracycline > tetracycline in soil 2. In conclusion, the SFC technique has yielded new kinetic data regarding tetracycline, oxytetracycline, and chlortetracycline adsorption/desorption on soils, indicating that it can be used to shed further light on the retention and transport processes affecting antibiotics on soils and other media, thus increasing knowledge on the behavior and evolution of these pharmaceutical residues in the environment.