Removal of imidacloprid from polluted water using adsorption and membrane separation technologies

Qurie, Mohannad
Alkhatib, Mahmoud
Bufo, Sabino Aurelio
Scrano, Laura
Khamis, Mustafa
Ayyad, Ibrahim
Karaman, Rafik
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Desalination Publications
In this work, the stability of imidacloprid in fresh water and sludge was studied. The results revealed that the pesticide is unstable in both media. In fresh water, it underwent hydrolysis whereas a degradation to several metabolites has been observed in sludge. The rate constants for the hydrolysis and degradation at 25°C were 0.0.0067 and 0.0.0099 d–1, respectively. Monitoring the degradation of imidacloprid in sludge by high-pressure liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) revealed that five metabolites have emerged during the study. These metabolites include imidacloprid urea, imidacloprid-guanidine, 6-hydroxynicotinic acid, an olefin, and 5-hydroxy, 1-(6-chloro-3-pyridylmethyl)-2-(nitroimino)-imidazolidin-5-ol. The efficiency of Al-Quds University Wastewater Treatment Plant towards the removal of imidacloprid indicates that the ultrafiltration-hollow fiber unit was insufficient, whereas the ultrafiltration-spiral wound, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis units were efficient for complete removal of the pesticide. Adsorption experiments of imidacloprid using either activated charcoal or micelle-clay complex were found to fit Langmuir isotherms better than Freundlich isotherm. The data demonstrate a higher Langmuir Qmax value for the activated charcoal (126.6 mg g–1) when compared to the micelle-clay complex (11.76 mg g–1). Filtration column experiments conducted with mixed micelle-clay complex and sand (using a ratio of 1/50 by mass) at a flow rate of 2 mL min–1 and influent concentration of 50 mg L–1 revealed that a sufficient removal of imidacloprid was achieved in the first fraction of 100 mL elution. These findings indicate that the adsorption technology using the micelle-clay complex provides efficient removal of imidacloprid in continuous flow mode.