Solar Photocatalysis for the Decontamination Of Water from Emerging Pharmaceutical Pollutant Chloroquine Using Nano ZnO as the Catalyst

Water Air Soil Pollut. 2023;234(3):146. doi: 10.1007/s11270-023-06148-4. Epub 2023 Feb 17.


Photo-driven advanced oxidation process (AOP) with pharmaceutical wastewater has been poorly investigated so far. This paper presents the results of an experimental investigation on the photocatalytic degradation of emerging pharmaceutical contaminant chloroquine (CLQ) in water using zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles as the catalyst and solar light (SL) as the source of energy. The catalyst was characterized by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM-EDAX), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The effect of various operating parameters such as catalyst loading, the concentration of target substrate, pH, and the effect of oxidants and anions (salts) on the efficiency of degradation was tested. The degradation follows pseudo-first-order kinetics. Surprisingly, contrary to the observation in most photocatalytic studies, the degradation is more efficient under solar radiation, with 77% under solar (SL) irradiation and 65% under UV light in 60 min. The degradation leads to slow and complete COD removal through several intermediates identified by the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) technique. The results suggest the possibility of using inexpensive natural, non-renewable solar energy for the purification of CLQ-contaminated water, thereby enabling the reuse of scarce water resources.

PMID:36844634 | PMC:PMC9936940 | DOI:10.1007/s11270-023-06148-4


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