Abstract

The biochar was prepared by pyrolyzing the roots of cauliflowers, at a temperature of 500 °C under oxygen-limited conditions. The structure and characteristics of the biochar were examined using scanning electron microscopy, an energy dispersive spectrometer, a zeta potential analyzer, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The effects of the temperature, the initial pH, antibiotic concentration, and contact time on the adsorption of norfloxacin (NOR) and chlortetracycline (CTC) onto the biochar were investigated. The adsorption kinetics of NOR and CTC onto the biochar followed the pseudo-second-order kinetic and intra-particle diffusion models. The adsorption isotherm experimental data were well fitted to the Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models. The maximum adsorption capacities of NOR and CTC were 31.15 and 81.30 mg/g, respectively. There was little difference between the effects of initial solution pH (4.0–10.0) on the adsorption of NOR or CTC onto the biochar because of the buffering effect. The biochar could remove NOR and CTC efficiently in aqueous solutions because of its large specific surface area, abundant surface functional groups, and particular porous structure. Therefore, it could be used as an excellent adsorbent material because of its low cost and high efficiency and the extensive availability of the raw materials.

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