Removal of penicillin has been investigated using decaffeinated tea waste (DCTW). Decaffeination of tea waste was investigated using different methods. Results indicate that ozonation was the most effective process for removal of penicillin. Batch adsorption experiments were completed at various temperatures (20, 30, and 40°C), DCTW dosages (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 g per 250 mL), penicillin concentrations (4, 10, and 14 mg/L), and pH (3, 7, and 10) conditions. Studies showed that adsorption reaches equilibrium within 40 min. The main factor affecting adsorption of penicillin was the solution pH, with maximum adsorption occurring at pH 3. Higher adsorbent dosages and lower penicillin concentrations also resulted in higher percentages of penicillin removal. Results show that data obeyed the pseudo-first-order kinetic and Freundlich isotherm models. This process proves that low-cost DCTW could be used as a high performance adsorbent for removing penicillin from aqueous solutions.
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