RSC Adv. 2023 Sep 1;13(37):26069-26088. doi: 10.1039/d3ra03426g. eCollection 2023 Aug 29.
In order to achieve sustainable benefits for the adsorption of wastewater pollutants, spent adsorbents need to be recycled and/or valorized. This work studied a two-dimensional (2D) ZnMgFe layered double hydroxide (LDH) for ceftriaxone sodium (CTX) adsorption. This LDH showed a crystallite size of 9.8 nm, a BET surface area of 367.59 m2 g-1, and a micro-sphere-like morphology. The factors investigated in this study were the adsorbent dose, initial concentration, initial pH, and contact time. ZnMgFe LDH showed 99% removal of CTX with a maximum adsorption capacity of 241.75 mg g-1 at pH = 5. The Dubinin-Radushkevich model was found to be the most adequate isotherm model. The spent adsorbent (ZnMgFe LDH/CTX) was reused as an electro-oxidation catalyst for direct methanol fuel cells. ZnMgFe LDH/CTX showed almost a 10-fold increase in electrochemical activity for all scan rates compared to bare ZnMgFe LDH in 1 M KOH. As methanol concentration increases, the maximum current density generated by both the ZnMgFe LDH and ZnMgFe LDH/CTX samples increases. Moreover, the maximum current density for ZnMgFe LDH/CTX was 47 mA cm-2 at a methanol concentration of 3 M. Both samples possess reasonable stability over a 3600 S time window with no significant deterioration of electrochemical performance. Moreover, the antimicrobial studies showed that ZnMgFe LDH had a significant antifungal (especially Aspergillus, Mucor, and Penicillium species) and antibacterial (with greater action against Gram-positive than negative) impact on several severe infectious diseases, including Aspergillus. This study paves the way for the reuse and valorization of selected adsorbents toward circular economy requirements.