Adsorption of levofloxacin (LEV), one of the extensively used antibiotics, onto goethite was investigated using batch experiments. The adsorption of LEV on goethite was pH-dependent. A maximum adsorption was reached at pH 6. Above or below pH 6, the adsorption decreased. In the presence of calcium (Ca2+), a decrease in adsorption was observed, due to probably formation of Ca2+-LEV complexes in solutions. Phosphate also showed a significant inhibition on LEV adsorption over a pH range of 3-10. Phosphate competed with LEV for binding sites on the surface of goethite, and the electrostatic competition between LEV and phosphate on goethite surface might be another reason for the decrease in adsorption. These results indicated that Ca2+ and phosphate have a great influence on the distribution of LEV in soils and waters, which will eventually affect its antibacterial activity in the environment. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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