The degradation of p-nitrophenol (PNP) by ZnO particles has been studied. With increasing PNP loading the degradation rate decreased. The mineralization of PNP was rather slow compared with the degradation. With a decrease in particle diameter or an increase in surface area, the degradation rate significantly increased. The degradation capability with solar irradiation was found to be superior to UV light irradiation. It was found that 30 mg L−1 of PNP was completely degraded by solar light with the accumulated UV light of around 23 kJ L−1 at ZnO dosage of 5 g L−1. The degradation PNP by ZnO with UV light or solar light was faster than that by TiO2.

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