Interactions of carbamazepine in soil: Effects of dissolved organic matter

Rotem Navon, Selene Hernandez-Ruiz, Jon Chorover, Benny Chefetz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Pharmaceutical compounds (PCs) and dissolved organic matter (DOM) are co-introduced into soils by irrigation with reclaimed wastewater. We targeted carbamazepine (CBZ) as a model compound to study the tertiary interactions between relatively polar PCs, DOM, and soil. Sorption-desorption behavior of CBZ was studied with bulk clay soil and the corresponding clay size fraction in the following systems: (i) without DOM, (ii) co-introduced with DOM, and (iii) pre-adsorption of DOM before CBZ introduction. Sorption of the DOM to both sorbents was irreversible and exhibited pronounced sorption- desorption hysteresis. Carbamazepine exhibited higher sorption affinity and nonlinearity, and a higher degree of desorption hysteresis with the bulk soil than the corresponding clay size fraction. Th is was probably due to specific interactions with polar soil organic matter fractions that are more common in the bulk soil. Co-introduction of CBZ and DOM to the soil did not significantly aff ect the sorption behavior of CBZ; however, following pre-adsorption of DOM by the bulk soil, an increase in sorption affinity and decrease in sorption linearity were observed. In this latter treatment, desorption hysteresis of CBZ was significantly increased for both sorbents. We hypothesize that this was due to either strong chemical interactions of CBZ with the adsorbed DOM or physical encapsulation of CBZ in DOM-clay complexes. Based on this study, we suggest that DOM facilitates stronger interactions of polar PCs with the solid surface. Th is mechanism can reduce PC desorption ability in soils.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)942-948
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


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