Amoxicillin removal from medical wastewater using an eco-friendly aqueous two-phase extraction system

Said Al-Saidi, Farouq S. Mjalli*, Marwah Al-Azzawi, Belal Abutarboosh, Mohammed A. AlSaadi, Talal Al-Wahaibi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Antibiotics are a common medical waste that can cause antibiotic resistance in humans and harm aquatic life. One of the most effective approaches for treating medical wastewater is the aqueous two-phase extraction process (ATPS). ATPS is considered an ecologically benign technology. Nine ATPS chemical systems were developed to extract Amoxicillin from simulated hospital wastewater using various salts and organic solvents. The criteria that determine the most efficient system were explored in order to maximize the separation process. After assessing the performance of the considered systems, amoxicillin extraction was carried out utilizing an ATPS comprised of PEG6000 as an extractant and K2HPO4 as a separating agent. Complete amoxicillin removal was attained at room temperature and a mixing speed of 500 rpm for 540 mins. The extraction efficiency was found to increase with temperature, salt concentration, and the volume ratio of the solvent (PEG6000). Based on the experimental design methodology, the optimum amoxicillin removal efficiency of 96.4% was attained at a temperature of 44.3°C, 42.6 wt.% of salt, and a 0.5 volume fraction ratio of PEG6000. The stagewise application of the process was also performed within five separation stages. This approach outperforms traditional extraction methods in terms of efficacy and duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalSeparation Science and Technology (Philadelphia)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 20 2022


  • Amoxicillin
  • aqueous two-phase extraction
  • medical waste
  • polyethylene glycol
  • potassium dibasic phosphate
  • wastewater

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Filtration and Separation


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