Kang Zhao Ling Gao Qianru Zhang Jianying Shang
The increasing amount of antibiotics entering the environment through manure usage and sludge application from wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) attracts much concern due to their potential threat to ecological security and human health. When biochar, a soil and water amendment, is introduced into the soil for remediation, the antibiotics are usually co-present with the biochar colloids (BC) or pre-accumulated in soils. However, little is known about the effect of antibiotics on the behavior of BC. Column experiments were conducted at three different pH values to study the effect of sulfamethazine (SMT) or ciprofloxacin (CIP) on BC transport. Under certain conditions (co-present in the influent and pre-sorbed on quartz sand), large numbers of cation and zwitterion forms of the less mobile CIP at pH 5 and 7 led to less negatively-charged surface of BC and quartz sand, resulted in higher BC retention compared to the highly mobile SMT. The decrease in BC transport became more significant with a higher amount of SMT or CIP pre-sorption. Therefore, when biochar is applied into soils polluted by antibiotics, the pH-dependency and the loading amount of antibiotics in soil matrix should be paid attention to as they might affect the transport of BC and the related facilitated-contaminants transport.
Sulfamethazine; Ciprofloxacin; Biochar colloids; Transport