Abstract

A novel magnetic polymer-ZnO composite was prepared by incorporating Fe3O4 and ZnO nano-particles in the structure of an adsorbent polymer. Precipitation polymerization was used for synthesizing the adsorbent polymer and its efficiency for extracting doxycycline from aqueous solution was optimized according to several parameters including time, pH and amount of polymer. Results showed the highest extraction efficiency at neutral pH of the doxycycline solution in 20 min, and the capacity of the polymer was about 20 mg/g. The magnetic property of a material is important for fast and facile separation of composite particles after each use. Magnetic polymer-ZnO composite was synthesized by adding Fe3O4 and ZnO nano-particles to the polymerization mixture in order to take advantage of both sorption and photocatalytic degradation mechanisms. The obtained composite was characterized using X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy equipped with wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and used for enhanced photocatalytic degradation of doxycycline in aqueous solution. Results showed 76.5% degradation of doxycycline in 6 hours which was significantly higher than the degradation observed by an equivalent amount of ZnO nano-particles. Photocatalytic degradation of doxycycline fitted the pseudo first order kinetic model with a rate constant of 4 × 10−3 μg mL−1 min−1.

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