Modeling manure colloid-facilitated transport of the weakly hydrophobic antibiotic florfenicol in saturated soil columns

Yonghong Zou, Wei Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Field application of livestock manure introduces animal hormones and veterinary antibiotics into the environment. Colloids present in manure may potentially intensify the environmental risk of groundwater pollution by colloid-facilitated contaminant transport. The transport behavior of the veterinary antibiotic florfenicol in saturated homogeneously packed soil columns has been investigated in both the presence and absence of manure colloids. Results show that facilitated transport of florfenicol is significant in the presence of manure colloids. Multiple chemical and physical processes caused by the presence of manure colloids were considered to contribute to facilitated transport. Florfenicol breakthrough curves (BTCs) were fit well by two models. The two-site nonequilibrium adsorption contaminant transport model suggested the mechanisms for facilitated florfenicol transport are as follows: manure colloids decrease the sorption capacity of florfenicol to soil, enhance the instantaneous equilibrium adsorption, and suppress the time-dependent kinetic adsorption processes. The colloid-facilitated model further evaluated the partition coefficient of florfenicol to colloids and indicated that cotransport has little contribution. A stepwise inverse model fitting approach resulted in robust parameter estimation. The adoption of the nonlinear Freundlich adsorption equation in the two-site nonequilibrium model significantly increased the fit of the model to the breakthrough curves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5185-5192
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 21 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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