Background and purpose: Amoxicillin is one of the antibiotics that has received especial attention as it causes resistance in bacteria. This compound enters the aquatic environment through different routes including human and animal waste, sewage, and waste disposal of medical health centers, veterinary and pharmaceutical industries. The aim of this study was to remove amoxicillin from aqueous environments by advanced oxidation method using synthesized bimetallic CuFe2O4 nanoparticles.
Materials and methods: For the purpose of this study, CuFe2O4 was synthesized through the sol-gel method. The physical and structural characteristics of this catalyst were analyzed using SEM, TEM, XRD, EDX, and VSM techniques. Additionally, this study investigated the effects of pH, initial concentrations of amoxicillin and hydrogen peroxide, and catalyst dosage on the reduction of amoxicillin and Total Organic Carbon (TOC). The concentrations of amoxicillin and TOC were determined by HPLC and TOC analyzers, respectively.
Results: The highest efficiency in removal of amoxicillin was 99.27% obtained in optimum conditions with CuFe2O4 at 50 ppm, pH= 4, amoxicillin concentration of 90 ppm, hydrogen peroxide concentration of 30 mmol, 30 min contact time, and 20°C temperature. In this condition the removal of TOC was found to be 36.42%.
Conclusion: The process studied here has a proper efficiency in removal of amoxicillin; but higher contact time is needed for adequate removal of TOC.