The sorption of nalidixic acid (NA) was studied onto three kinds of magnetite characterized by different particle sizes (from micrometric to nanometric) and surface properties. Experiments were performed under static batch and dynamic flow conditions. Obtained results indicate that kinetics and extent of sorption was strongly affected by the particle size of tested magnetites. Ionic strength effect was less significant suggesting that aggregation state of the magnetite particles did not affect the sorption. During kinetic sorption experiments, apparent rate constant normalized to solid mass was faster for nanosized magnetite while an opposite trend was observed for the surface area-normalized rate constants. Infrared data suggested the possibility of similar surface interactions on both microsized and nanosized magnetites. Transport of NA in magnetite-packed column was found associated to the instantaneous sorption without any significant effect of kinetic limitation. Breakthrough curves (BC) and sorption extent in columns were calculated by using Thomas, Yan and Yoon-Nelson models. Sorption capacities predicted by Thomas or Yan model were in good agreement with that determined by integrating total area above BC. However, Thomas model failed particularly to predict an accurate concentration at lower and higher time points of the BC. These findings have strong implications in relation to the transport and removal of environmental pollutants in natural and engineered systems.
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