Self-sensitization of tetracycline degradation with simulated solar light catalyzed by ZnO@montmorillonite

Ahed Zyoud, Waheed Jondi, Najat AlDaqqah, Sara Asaad, Naser Qamhieh, Abdul Razack Hajamohideen, Muath H.S. Helal, Hansang Kwon, Hikmat S. Hilal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Zinc oxide (ZnO) nano-particles were chemically deposited onto montmorillonite (MONT) clay particles. The composite ZnO@MONT was then characterized and used as a catalyst for photo-degradation of aqueous tetracycline. Unlike earlier studies, solar simulated light can be effectively used in this work. The composite shows high efficiency as adsorbent and as a photo-degradation catalyst. Both adsorbed and dissolved tetracycline molecules undergo mineralization under the photo-catalytic conditions, and up to 94% of the contaminant gross amount is completely mineralized. Other forms of ZnO particles, commercial ZnO and synthetic ZnO particles were examined in separate experiments. The ZnO@MONT is superior to both pristine counterparts. The ability of tetracycline to sensitize the supported ZnO particles, to solar simulated light, before being photo-degraded itself, is discussed here for the first time. In addition to enhanced catalytic activity of the ZnO@MONT, the composite can be efficiently recovered and reused with no significant loss of efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-143
Number of pages13
JournalSolid State Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Montmorillonite
  • Photo-catalysis
  • Supported catalysis
  • Tetracycline photo-degradation
  • ZnO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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