Study on Cost-Efficient Carbon Aerogel to Remove Antibiotics from Water Resources


ACS OMEGA, vol.5, no.27, pp.16635-16644, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 27
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1021/acsomega.0c01479
  • Journal Name: ACS OMEGA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.16635-16644
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Because of pharmaceutical-emerging contaminants in water resources, there has been a significant increase in the antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Therefore, the removal of antibiotics from water resources is essential. Various antibiotics have been greatly studied using many different carbon-based materials including graphene-based hydrogels and aerogels. In this study, carbon aerogels (CAs) were synthesized from waste paper sources and their adsorption behaviors toward three antibiotics (hygromycin B, gentamicin, and vancomycin) were investigated, for which there exist a limited number of reports in the literature. The prepared CAs were characterized with scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and micro-computerized tomography (mu-CT). According to the mu-CT results, total porosity and open porosity were calculated as 90.80 and 90.76%, respectively. The surface area and surface-to-volume ratio were found as 795.15 mm(2) and 16.79 mm(-1), respectively. The specific surface area of the CAs was found as 104.2 m(2)/g. A detailed adsorption study was carried out based on different pH values, times, and analyte concentrations. The adsorption capacities were found as 104.16, 81.30, and 107.52 mg/g for Hyg B, Gen, and Van, respectively. For all three antibiotics, the adsorption behavior fits the Langmuir model. The kinetic studies showed that the system fits the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. The production of CAs, within the scope of this study, is safe, facile, and cost-efficient, which makes these green adsorbents a good candidate for the removal of antibiotics from water resources. This study represents the first antibiotic adsorption study based on CAs obtained from waste paper.