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Fate and Transport of Naproxen in a Sandy Aquifer Material: Saturated Column Studies and Model Evaluation


Naproxen-C14H14O3 is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug which has been found at detectable concentrations in wastewater, surface water, and groundwater. Naproxen is relatively hydrophilic and is in anionic form at pH between 6 and 8. In this study, column experiments were performed using an unconsolidated aquifer material from an area near Barcelona (Spain) to assess transport and reaction mechanisms of Naproxen in the aquifer matrix under different pore water fluxes. Results were evaluated using HYDRUS-1D, which was used to estimate transport parameters. Batch sorption isotherms for Naproxen conformed with the linear model with a sorption coefficient of 0.42 (cm3 g-1), suggesting a low sorption affinity. Naproxen breakthrough curves (BTCs) measured in soil columns under steady-state, saturated water flow conditions displayed similar behavior, with no apparent hysteresis in sorption or dependence of retardation (R, 3.85-4.24) on pore water velocities. Soil sorption did not show any significant decrease for increasing flow rates, as observed from Naproxen recovery in the effluent. Sorption parameters estimated by the model suggest that Naproxen has a low sorption affinity to aquifer matrix. Most sorption of Naproxen occurred on the instantaneous sorption sites, with the kinetic sorption sites representing only about 10 to 40% of total sorption. © 2014 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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