Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 209–215 | Cite as

Removal of Selected Pharmaceuticals from Aqueous Solutions Using Natural Jordanian Zeolite

  • Fuad Al-rimawi
  • Mahran Daana
  • Mustafa Khamis
  • Rafik Karaman
  • Hani Khoury
  • Mohannad QurieEmail author
Research Article - Chemistry


In this study, the removal of selected pharmaceuticals including ibuprofen, diclofenac sodium, indomethacin, chlorpheniramine maleate, and paracetamol from water using natural Jordanian zeolite was studied. The influence of pH, contact time, adsorbent dosage, and initial pharmaceutical concentration on the adsorption process was investigated using batch and column methods. The optimal pH for the removal of all selected pharmaceuticals was found to be 2 except for diclofenac sodium where the optimal pH was 6. The optimum adsorption time was found to be 80 min. The percentage removal increased as the initial concentration of the pharmaceuticals increased from 10.0 to 50.0 mg/L except for indomethacin where the removal decreased as the initial concentration increased. After optimization, the highest removal was found to be 88.3, 30.1, 59.0, 85.8, and 12.7% for ibuprofen, diclofenac sodium, indomethacin, chlorpheniraminemaleate, and paracetamol, respectively. Langmuir and Freundlich isotherm models were used to evaluate the adsorption efficiencies of the investigated pharmaceuticals. The results demonstrated that Langmuir isotherm fits the experimental data for diclofenac sodium, indomethacin and paracetamol with adsorption capacity \((Q_{\mathrm{max}})\) of 4.8, 26.6, and 55.6 mg/g, respectively, whereas Freundlich isotherm fits the experimental data for both ibuprofen and chlorpheniramine maleate. Continues flow experiment was performed on ibuprofen under constant influent concentration and fixed flow rate. Equal eluted fractions of 100 mL were collected and analyzed for ibuprofen content. The results indicated that percentage removal of ibuprofen on zeolite was found to be the highest after fraction 9 with 78% removal.


Jordanian zeolite Pharmaceutical removal Adsorption Wastewater treatment Langmuir isotherm 


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The authors wish to acknowledge Al-Quds University for financial support.


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Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fuad Al-rimawi
    • 1
  • Mahran Daana
    • 1
  • Mustafa Khamis
    • 2
  • Rafik Karaman
    • 3
  • Hani Khoury
    • 4
  • Mohannad Qurie
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, College of Science and TechnologyAl-Quds UniversityJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and SciencesAmerican University of SharjahSharjahUnited Arab Emirates
  3. 3.College of PharmacyAl-Quds UniversityJerusalemIsrael
  4. 4.Department of Geology, Faculty of scienceThe University of JordanAmmanJordan
  5. 5.Center for Chemical and Biological analysisAl-Quds UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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