Jordan Journal of Civil Engineering

Removal of Antibiotic from Wastewater by Comparison of Coagulation, Membrane, and Adsorption Methods


Saeed Safaei; Seyed Ahmad Mirbagheri; Majid Ehteshami; Ehsan Teymouri; Marjan Salari;


Antibiotics are among the most nonbiodegradable contaminations, they consider important in the environment. In the present study, Oxytetracycline (OTC) was selected as a medical contaminant with an organic structure to increase the efficiency and feasibility of comparison with other researches. Therefore, the removal of OTC from medicinal effluent using different methods namely activated carbon, bentonite adsorption, iron(III) chloride coagulation, membrane filtration, and reverse osmosis (RO) were investigated. Results indicated that the removal of soluble antibiotics in the factory wastewater by adsorption method was between 35% and 77%, and in the pH of 6.5, the total dissolved solids (TDS) and OTC concentration reduced by 55% and 77%, respectively. In coagulation method, the suitable pH ranges from 5.5 to 7.5, the optimal dosage of iron (III) chloride coagulation was between 40 and 100 mg/l, which resulted in 98.7% of OTC removal. It was concluded that in the RO membrane, the operating pressure plays a significant role on the performance of membrane, and the highest OTC adsorption of 98.7% and considerable TDS removal were obtained at the pressure of 9 bar. Finally, the RO is defined as the suitable method for OTC removal, after passing once through the membrane, and other methods are proper to be used in the pretreatment of medicinal wastewater.


Antibiotic, Absorption, Coagulation, Membrane filtration, Reverse Osmosis