Discover the Editor's Choice: From each issue of the leading journal Water Science & Technology the core team of editors select one outstanding paper to share across IWA Publishing platforms. 

IWA Publishing is pleased to announce that the 41st Editor's Choice Paper, chosen by Fabrizio Sabba is now Open Access: 

Highly effective removal of antibiotics from aqueous solution by magnetic ZnFe2O4/activated carbon composite

Yun-Xia Li, Lei Wang, Fang-Fang Chai, Hong-Fei Jing, Zhu-Qing Gao, Qing-Hua Zhang and Xu-Dong Zhao

https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2020.389

Why was this paper chosen?

Antibiotics are a family of drugs commonly used in our daily lives with the final goal of reducing mortality and morbidity due to common infections. However, antibiotics have different half-lives in the environment – some of them are highly persistent and their levels are increasing.

Currently, technologies that adequately remove antibiotics from water or wastewater are expensive, and a low-cost technology is needed. A new developing strategy for the removal of antibiotics is the use of adsorptive materials such as activated carbon. The main disadvantage of this material is that it cannot be separated easily from the solution after adsorption. Li et al. synthesized a composite material that combined a magnetic compound, zinc ferrite, with activated carbon to remove two quinolone antibiotics: gemifioxacin mesylate and moxifloxacin hydrochloride.

Although antibiotics removal has become a hot topic, few studies have explored the possibility of combining antibiotics removal with the full recovery of the adsorptive material via a magnetic field. This study paves the ground for future studies with the possibility of using new and more advanced materials that would enhance adsorption as well as allow for a final recovery of the adsorptive material. I enjoyed reading about this innovative approach and I am certain this contribution will be of great relevance for the scientific community.

Fabrizio Sabba, Editor.

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