Tuning down the environmental interests of organoclays for emerging pollutants: Pharmaceuticals in presence of electrolytes

Regis Guegan*, Tiago De Oliveira, Julien Le Gleuher, Yoshiyuki Sugahara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of electrolytes on the adsorption of emerging pollutants: pharmaceuticals onto layered materials: a raw clay mineral and its nonionic and cationic organoclay derivatives was studied. The selected pharmaceuticals: amoxicillin, norfloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, metoprolol, carbamazepine, and trimethoprim show different electric charges: zwitterionic, anionic, cationic and neutral and hydrophobic character (different LogP). Without any salts, the set of complementary data obtained by UV and infrared spectroscopies, X-ray diffraction points out the importance of the electric charge which represents a key parameter in both the spontaneity and feasibility of the adsorption. In contrast, the hydrophobicity of the analytes plays a minor role but determines the magnitude of the adsorbed amount of pharmaceuticals onto organoclays. With a dual hydrophilic and hydrophobic behavior, nonionic organoclay appears to be the most polyvalent material for the removal of the pharmaceuticals. In the presence of electrolytes (NaCl at a concentration of 1 × 10−2 mol L−1), both nonionic and cationic organoclays show a decrease of their efficiencies, whereas the adsorption is particularly enhanced for Na–Mt except for the cationic species (trimethoprim and metoprolol). Thus, in realistic experimental conditions close to those of natural effluents, raw clay mineral appears as the most appropriate sorbent for the studied pharmaceuticals while it raises the question of the usefulness of organoclays in water remediation strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124730
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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