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Journal of Environmental Engineering (United States) ; 149(6), 2023.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2248079


In recent years, the emergence of COVID-19 has created disastrous health effects worldwide. Doxycycline, a member of the tetracycline group, has been prescribed as a treatment companion for attending this catastrophe. Due to extensive use and high solubility, a significant amount of un-metabolized doxycycline has been found to reach water bodies within a short time, and consumption of this water may lead to the development of fatal resistance in organisms and create health problems. Therefore, it has become necessary to develop suitable technologies from a geoenvironmental point of view to remove these unwanted antibiotics from wastewater. In this context, locally obtainable silty-sandy soil was explored as a low-cost material in a constructed wetland with Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver sp.) for phytoremediation to mitigate doxycycline spiked wastewater. The obtained soil hydraulic conductivity was 1.63×10-7 m/s. Batch adsorption tests conducted on silty-sandy soil, vetiver leaf, and vetiver root provided maximum removal efficiencies of 90%, 72%, and 80% percent, respectively, at optimal sorbent doses of 10 g/L, 17 g/L, and 16 g/L, and contaminant concentrations of 25 mg/L, 20 mg/L, and 23 mg/L, with a 30-min time of contact. The Freundlich isotherm was the best fit, indicative of sufficient sorption capacity of all the adsorbents for doxycycline. The best match in the kinetic research was pseudo-second-order kinetics. A one dimensional vertical column test with the used soil on doxycycline revealed a 90% breakthrough in 24 h for a soil depth of 30 mm. Studies on a laboratory-scale wetland and numerically modeled yielded removal of around 92% by the selected soil and about 98% combined with Chrysopogon zizanioides for 25 mg/L of initial doxycycline concentration, which is considered quite satisfactory. Simulated results matched the laboratory tests very well. The study is expected to provide insight into remedies for similar practical problems. © 2023 American Society of Civil Engineers.