Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a new class of water contaminants that need to be effectively removed. In this work, SnO2 is involved in enhancing the photocatalytic activity of ZnS-bearing waste for the photodegradation of selected PPCPs. The SnO2@ZnS photocatalysts with various SnO2:ZnS ratios were synthesized by a one-step hydrothermal route. The results of physicochemical characterization reveal the successful formation of SnO2@ZnS photocatalyst. The photocatalytic activities of SnO2@ZnS photocatalysts are evaluated for the degradation of selected PPCPs: metoprolol (beta-blocker), carbamazepine (antiepileptic), acetaminophen (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), and triclosan (antimicrobial). As a result, 70% of acetaminophen, 40% of carbamazepine, 67% of metoprolol, and 40% of triclosan are degraded by SnO2@ZnS photocatalysts. Such discrepancy in the photocatalytic degradation of PPCPs is stemmed from different physicochemical properties of the photocatalysts, chemical structures of PPCPs, and interactions between the PPCP molecules and the photocatalyst surface. To gain more insights into the different photocatalytic removal efficiencies of PPCPs, the adsorption affinities of PPCPs and water molecules to the predominant crystal planes of SnO2 (011) and ZnS (111) are computationally estimated. It is found that hydrated PPCPs are preferably adsorbed on the surface of SnO2 rather than on the surface of ZnS, and the SnO2@ZnS photocatalysts show a better adsorption affinity to PPCPs than individual SnO2 or ZnS. This study demonstrates a simple route to develop low-cost photocatalysts for the efficient removal of PPCPs by utilizing zinc sulfide-bearing industrial waste.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry