• Acelas Soto, Nancy Yamile (PI)
  • Porras López, Jazmin (CoI)
  • Tovar Martínez, José Alejandro (Research Assistant (Undergraduate Student))
  • Benavides Pachajoa, Darly Valeria (Research Assistant (Undergraduate Student))
  • Castaño Estrada, Sofía (Research Assistant (Undergraduate Student))
  • Castaño Marín, Karina Andrea (Research Assistant (Undergraduate Student))

Project Details


Water is a scarce natural resource, essential for human life and the maintenance of the environment; which, over time, has suffered an alarming deterioration as a result of rapid human and economic development. For years, quantities of pharmaceutical compounds, such as analgesics, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, among others, have been discharged into the environment and, due to the inefficiency of conventional water treatment methods, the presence of these compounds has been detected, both in water natural and drinkable, producing adverse effects on living beings in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Due to the negative impact generated by the continuous presence of traces of drugs in water, it is necessary to develop and optimize efficient treatment methods that can remove these compounds. Alternatives such as membrane filtration, advanced oxidation processes and the use of activated carbon are among the most promising options; the latter being of particular interest thanks to its efficiency and easy application. In addition, activated carbons can be obtained from organic waste, such as coconut shells, bamboo, fruit seeds and shells, sawdust, coffee pulp, and rice husks. Of organic wastes, rice husks are specially coated. interest, because in many developing countries, including Colombia, it is considered an environmental problem. In fact, large volumes of this waste are produced annually, of which a good part is not used and is disposed of improperly, generating environmental pollution. Therefore, with this research proposal, the adsorption and activation capacity of oxidizing agents will be evaluated, of an activated carbon prepared from rice husk, for the removal of four model pharmaceutical compounds: acetaminophen, ciprofloxacin, diclofenac and sulfamethoxazole.


General objectiveEvaluate the behavior of activated carbon prepared from rice husks (Oryza Sativa) as an adsorbent and catalyst in drug removalSpecific objectives• Develop and physicochemically characterize an activated carbon obtained from rice husks (Oryza Sativa) .• To establish the adsorption and activation capacity of oxidizing agents of an activated carbon obtained from rice husks (Oryza Sativa) and to evaluate the effect of oxidizing agents and the chemical structure of the contaminant on the elimination process of drugs on an activated carbon obtained from rice husks (Oryza Sativa).• Evaluate the effect of the concentration of oxidizing agent and of activated carbon obtained from rice husks (Oryza Sativa) and the pH in the elimination of drugs.• Determine the route of drug removal using an activated carbon obtained from rice husk (Oryza Sativa).

Expected results

With the development of the project it is expected to have a positive impact on the environment and society, through the development of methods that contribute to the reduction in the generation of emissions, discharges and solid waste; improvement of the quality of the environment; elimination or reduction of risks to human health; sustainable use of new natural resources; Improving the quality of life; benefits of interest groups through the management of research networks and scientific cooperation.
Effective start/end date1/06/2010/02/23


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