Effect of water matrices on removal of veterinary pharmaceuticals by nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes
This study explored the removal of five veterinary pharmaceuticals (VPs) (sulfamethoxazole (SMETOX), trimethoprim (TMP), ciprofloxacin (CIPRO), dexamethasone (DEXA) and febantel (FEBA)) from different water matrices (Milli-Q water, model water, tap water and real pharmaceutical wastewater using four types of nanofiltration (NF) membranes (NF90, NF270, NF and HL) and two reverse osmosis (RO) membranes (LFC-1 and XLE). All VPs were added to different water matrices at a concentration of 10 mg/L. Rejections of VPs and water flux were measured. The rejection increased with increase of molecular weight. The highest rejections were obtained with RO membranes (LFC-1, XLE) and tight NF (NF90) membrane. In general, the rejection of VPs was higher in model water and tap water than in Milli-Q water, but the water flux was lower. This was mainly explained by ion adsorption inside the membranes pores. Narrower pore size counteracted the effect of presence of low concentration of natural organic matter (NOM) in tap water. The NOM was assumed to enhance the adsorption of VPs onto membrane surface, increased the size exclusion and electrostatic repulsion also appeared during the transport. Investigated water matrices had influence on water flux decline due to their complexity. © 2011 The Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences.