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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2012 Mar;19(3):724-38. doi: 10.1007/s11356-011-0611-4. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

Optimizing removal of ibuprofen from water by magnetic nanocomposite using Box-Behnken design.

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Environmental Chemistry Division, CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research), Post Box 80, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226 001, India.



The present research aims to optimize the removal of ibuprofen (IBP), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic drug from the aqueous solution using a synthesized magnetic carbon-iron nanocomposite, and to investigate the individual and combined effects of the independent process variables.


Combining the adsorptive capability of carbon and magnetic property of iron, a carbon-iron nanocomposite was synthesized. A four-factor Box-Behnken experimental design-based optimization modeling was performed for maximizing the removal of IBP from water by the nanocomposite using the batch experimental data. A quadratic model was built to predict the responses. Significance of the process variables and their interactions was tested by the analysis of variance and t test statistics.


The experimental maximum removals of IBP from the aqueous solution by carbon and magnetic nanocomposite were 14.74% and 60.39%, respectively. The model predicted maximum removal of 65.81% under the optimum conditions of the independent variables (IBP concentration 80 mg/l; temperature 48°C; pH 2.50; dose 0.6 g/l) was very close to the experimental value (65.12 ± 0.92%). pH of the solution exhibited most significant effect on IBP adsorption.


The developed magnetic nanocomposite was found superior than its precursor carbon exhibiting higher removal of IBP from the water and can be easily separated from the aqueous phase under temporary external magnetic field. The developed magnetic nanocomposite may be used for an efficient removal of IBP from the water.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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