Ibuprofen is potentially toxic and carcinogenic for freshwater ecosystems and poses a serious threat to human health by affecting kidney function. The present study focused on the sunlight-controlled degradation of ibuprofen from water using a novel magnetically separable cerium oxide-embedded bismuth ferrite heterostructure. Catalysts were synthesized by solvothermal and co-precipitation methods and characterized by X-ray diffractometry, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, UV-vis optical absorption spectroscopy, and nitrogen adsorption. This study investigated the effect of photocatalysis, sonolysis, sonophotolysis, and sonophotocatalysis on the degradation of ibuprofen in water. Pseudo-first-order and second-order kinetics were applied to evaluate the rate of reaction for ibuprofen degradation. The addition of 5% CeO2 to the BiFeO3 significantly increased the surface area and pore volume of bismuth ferrite, which enhanced their photocatalytic degradation efficiency by 2.28 times in terms of ibuprofen mineralization. Sonolysis treatment alone and in combination with photolysis led to the degradation of ibuprofen, but with the formation of intermediate products. Positive synergy was observed when sonolysis was combined with photocatalysis in terms of the mineralization of ibuprofen and the degradation of intermediates along with their parent compound. It was proposed that, compared to photocatalytic mineralization, the ultrasound-assisted advanced oxidation process resulted in the conversion of ibuprofen to its mineralization products.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan for funding this research and Professor Ming Xu for extending his courtesy in performing material characterizations.
© 2023 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
- General Chemical Engineering
- General Chemistry