Integrated adsorptive and photocatalytic degradation of pharmaceutical micropollutant, ciprofloxacin employing biochar-ZnO composite photocatalysts

Muhammad Amir, Tahir Fazal, Javed Iqbal, Aamir Alaud Din, Ashfaq Ahmed, Asim Ali, Abdul Razzaq, Zulfiqar Ali, Muhammad Saif Ur Rehman, Young Kwon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The expensive carbonaceous substrates including graphene, reduced graphene oxide, carbon nanotubes have been coupled with ZnO to improve the properties and photocatalytic performance of carbon based ZnO photocatalysts. To replace these expensive materials, biochar offers as a low-cost alternative to prepare biochar-based photocatalysts. In this study, Calotropis gigantea leaves derived biochar-ZnO (BC-ZnO) composites were synthesized to overcome the ZnO related problems (charge recombination, wider band gap, and poor visible light absorption). Different BC-ZnO (BCZ-1–3) composites were characterized to evaluate their intrinsic properties and composites were employed to degrade ciprofloxacin (CIP). BCZ-3 composite exhibited slower recombination of electron-hole pairs, lower band gap (2.97 eV), and better light absorption in visible region than ZnO. The enhanced adsorptive-photocatalytic degradation efficiency was attained up to 98.5% using BCZ-3 than BC (46.2%) and ZnO (41.4%). The O2∙- and OH radicals within BCZ-3 are dominant reactive species indulged in CIP photocatalytic degradation. BCZ-3 photocatalyst exhibits 80% degradation of CIP after four regeneration cycles. The maximum adsorption capacity was achieved 54.18 mg g−1 for BCZ-3 than BC (46.20 mg g−1) and ZnO (15.55 mg g−1). The results show that BCZ-X composites can be used as stable, efficient, economical, and sustainable composite for the recovery of pharmaceutical wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-182
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry
Volume115
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Adsorption
  • Biochar
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Pharmaceutical wastewater
  • Photocatalysis
  • ZnO photocatalyst

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