Advanced adsorbents for ibuprofen removal from aquatic environments: a review

Ahmed I. Osman, Ali Ayati, Mohamed Farghali, Pavel Krivoshapkin, Bahareh Tanhaei, Hassan Karimi-Maleh, Elena Krivoshapkina, Parsana Taheri, Chantal Tracey, Ahmed Al-Fatesh, Ikko Ihara, David W. Rooney, Mika Sillanpaä

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The presence of pharmaceuticals in ecosystems is a major health issue, calling for advanced methods to clean wastewater before effluents reach rivers. Here, we review advanced adsorption methods to remove ibuprofen, with a focus on ibuprofen occurrence and toxicity, adsorbents, kinetics, and adsorption isotherms. Adsorbents include carbon- and silica-based materials, metal–organic frameworks, clays, polymers, and bioadsorbents. Carbon-based adsorbents allow the highest adsorption of ibuprofen, from 10.8 to 408 mg/g for activated carbon and 2.5–1033 mg/g for biochar. Metal–organic frameworks appear promising due to their high surface areas and tunable properties and morphology. 95% of published reports reveal that adsorption kinetics follow the pseudo-second-order model, indicating that the adsorption is predominantly governed by chemical adsorption. 70% of published reports disclose that the Langmuir model describes the adsorption isotherm, suggesting that adsorption involves monolayer adsorption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-418
Number of pages46
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


  • Adsorption
  • Antibiotic
  • Metal–organic framework
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Polymer
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry


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