Microwave-assisted synthesis of triple 2D g-C3N4/Bi2WO6/rGO composites for ibuprofen photodegradation: Kinetics, mechanism and toxicity evaluation of degradation products

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In this study, the visible-light-driven Z-scheme g-C3N4/Bi2WO6/rGO heterojunctions with 2D/2D/2D configurations are prepared via a facile, rapid and low temperature microwave-assisted method. The physicochemical properties and morphologies of these heterostructured photocatalysts are characterized by various spectroscopies such as XRD, XPS, TEM/SEM, PL, FT-IR, UV–Visible spectroscopy and nitrogen adsorption measurements. The prepared g-C3N4/Bi2WO6/3 wt% rGO photocatalysts (incorporated with optimal 3 wt% of rGO) possess ca. 86 and 98% of ibuprofen (IBF) photodegradation under the visible light (λ > 420 nm) and solar light irradiation, respectively. The formation of well crystallized structure, morphology (nanoplates structure of Bi2WO6), higher visible light absorption and specific surface area (25.4 m2 g−1) are responsible for the superior performance of g-C3N4/Bi2WO6/3 wt% rGO. Moreover, the larger interfacial contact (identified by HRTEM) between triple 2D g-C3N4/Bi2WO6/rGO heterostructures can lead to surpassing interfacial charge carrier dynamics and reduce the combination of electron-hole pairs. IBF photodegradation intermediates and the corresponding reaction mechanisms are further investigated by using LC-MS/MS, indicating the superoxide radical ([rad]O2) and hydroxyl radicals ([rad]OH) are involved in the photodegradation of IBF and accordingly five intermediates are produced via three possible reaction pathways. The anti-hormonal effects of IBF and the photodegraded intermediate products are also evaluated by yeast-based bioassays. The results show that the intermediate products of photodegraded IBF have lower antagonistic effect on human hormone receptors than the pristine IBF.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124098
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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