The threat of pharmaceutical residues in natural waters is a pressing concern in both developed and underdeveloped countries. Originating mostly from municipal and farms effluents, pharmaceuticals, poorly eliminated by traditional wastewater treatments enter the environment through sewage treatment plants discharges. Their adsorption on ecological adsorptive materials such as lignin may represent an interesting remediation solution. The present study sets out the sorption capacities and properties of a newly developed lignin-based nanofibrous material for typical pharmaceutical residues (fluoxetine, venlafaxine, ibuprofen, and carbamazepine) found in surface waters. This green biomaterial showed, in addition to its high recovery yield, excellent reusability through desorption (more than 90% recovered). As an example, adsorption levels reached 78 mg/g for adsorption of fluoxetine compared to 5–10, 49 and 75–80 for unfunctionalized silica, zeolites and ion-exchange resins respectively. The innovative approach reported therein perfectly meets the concept of circular economy sought in modern societies.
Part of the book: Sorption in 2020s