Photocatalytic Degradation of Metronidazole Using Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles Supported on Acha Waste

Olushola Sunday Ayanda(1*), Blessing Oluwatobi Adeleye(2), Omolola Helen Aremu(3), Folasade Busayo Ojobola(4), Olayide Samuel Lawal(5), Olusola Solomon Amodu(6), Oyedele Oyebamiji Oketayo(7), Michael John Klink(8), Simphiwe Maurice Nelana(9)

(1) Nanoscience Research Unit, Department of Industrial Chemistry, Federal University Oye Ekiti, P.M.B. 373, Oye Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
(2) Nanoscience Research Unit, Department of Industrial Chemistry, Federal University Oye Ekiti, P.M.B. 373, Oye Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
(3) Nanoscience Research Unit, Department of Industrial Chemistry, Federal University Oye Ekiti, P.M.B. 373, Oye Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
(4) Department of Science Education, Federal University Oye Ekiti, P.M.B. 373, Oye Ekiti, Nigeria
(5) Nanoscience Research Unit, Department of Industrial Chemistry, Federal University Oye Ekiti, P.M.B. 373, Oye Ekiti, Ekiti State, Nigeria
(6) Department of Chemical Engineering, Lagos State Polytechnic, P.M.B. 21606, Ikorodu, Lagos, Nigeria
(7) Department of Physics, Federal University Oye Ekiti, P.M.B. 373, Oye Ekiti, Nigeria
(8) Department of Chemistry, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark 1900, South Africa
(9) Department of Chemistry, Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark 1900, South Africa
(*) Corresponding Author


The presence of emerging pollutants like pharmaceutical compounds in the environment is currently an issue of concern. Pharmaceutical compounds often escape conventional treatment systems and are persistent in the receiving environment; thus, the advanced oxidation processes could complement existing treatment methods to completely remove pharmaceuticals from contaminated water bodies. This work investigated the removal of metronidazole by ultra-violet light catalyzed by zinc oxide nanoparticles supported on acha waste. The synthesized zinc oxide nanoparticles, acha waste, and zinc oxide nanoparticles/acha waste composite were characterized by electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), Fourier transforms infrared spectrometry (FTIR) and X-ray diffractometry (XRD). Experimental results revealed that the UV light combined with zinc oxide nanoparticles and/or acha waste was more effective for metronidazole removal in combination than UV alone. The degradation of the metronidazole by UV light only, UV/nano-ZnO, and UV/nano-ZnO/acha waste systems follow the pseudo-first-order kinetic model. The addition of a catalyst to the UV reactor enhanced the degradation of metronidazole (5 mg/L) from 41.0 up to 86.1%. The outcome of this research showed that UV light in the presence of nanometal oxides and composites is an efficient technique for the removal of pharmaceuticals from an aqueous solution.


metronidazole; zinc oxide nanoparticles; acha waste; UV light; photocatalysis

Full Text:

Full Text PDF


[1] Kapoor, D., 2015, Impact of pharmaceutical industries on environment, health and safety, J. Crit. Rev., 2 (4), 25–30.

[2] Manasa, R.L., and Mehta, A., 2020, “Wastewater: Sources of Pollutants and Its Remediation” in Environmental Biotechnology, Vol. 2, Eds. Gothandam, K.M., Ranjan, S., Dasgupta, N., and Lichtfouse, E., Springer, Cham, 197–219.

[3] Chen, J.Q., Shang, C., and Cai, X.L., 2013, Application of cyclonic floatation integrated technology in low oil content sewage treatment, China Pet. Mach., 41 (9), 62–66.

[4] Hemphill, A., Müller, N., and Müller, J., 2019, Comparative pathobiology of the intestinal protozoan parasites Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, and Cryptosporidium parvum, Pathogens, 8 (3), 116.

[5] Ceruelos, A.H., Romero-Quezada, L.C., Ruvalcaba Ledezma, J.C., and López Contreras, L., 2019, Therapeutic uses of metronidazole and its side effects: An update, Eur. Rev. Med. Pharmacol. Sci., 23 (1), 397–401.

[6] Kannigadu, C., and N'Da, D.D., 2020, Recent advances in the synthesis and development of nitroaromatics as anti-infective drugs, Curr. Pharm. Des., 26 (36), 4658–4674.

[7] Edwards, D.I., 1993, Nitroimidazole drugs-action and resistance mechanisms I. Mechanism of action, J. Antimicrob. Chemother., 31 (1), 9–20.

[8] Nunn, A.J., 2021, “Routes of Administration and Formulations” in Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology, Eds. Jacqz-Aigrain, E., and Choonara, I., CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, 219–233.

[9] Arslan-Alaton, I., and Dogruel, S., 2004, Pre-treatment of penicillin formulation effluent by advanced oxidation processes, J. Hazard. Mater., 112 (1-2), 105–113.

[10] Rozas, O., Contreras, D., Mondaca, M.A., Pérez-Moya, M., and Mansilla, H.D., 2010, Experimental design of Fenton and photo-Fenton reactions for the treatment of ampicillin solutions, J. Hazard. Mater., 177 (1-3), 1025–1030.

[11] Ayanda, O.S., Nelana, S.M., Petrik, L.F., and Naidoo, E.B., 2018, Kinetic study of ultrasound degradation of 2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane assisted by nFe/TiO2 composite, J. Adv. Oxid. Technol., 21 (1), 170–177.

[12] Deng, Y., and Zhao, R., 2015, Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) in wastewater treatment, Curr. Pollut. Rep., 1 (3), 167–176.

[13] Farzadkia, M., Esrafili, A., Baghapour, M.A., Shahamat, Y.D., and Okhovat, N., 2014, Degradation of metronidazole in aqueous solution by nano-ZnO/UV photocatalytic process, Desalin. Water Treat., 52 (25-27), 4947–4952.

[14] Fang, Z., Chen, J., Qiu, X., Qiu, X., Cheng, W., and Zhu, L., 2011, Effective removal of antibiotic metronidazole from water by nanoscale zero-valent iron particles, Desalination, 268 (1-3), 60–67.

[15] Farzadkia, M., Bazrafshan, E., Esrafili, A., Yang, J.K., and Shirzad-Siboni, M., 2015, Photocatalytic degradation of metronidazole with illuminated TiO2 nanoparticles, J. Environ. Health Sci. Eng., 13 (1), 35.

[16] Garí, J.A., 2002, “Review of the African Millet Diversity” in International Workshop on Fonio, Food Security and Livelihood Among the Rural Poor in West Africa, November 19-22, 2001, Bamako, Mali.

[17] Cruz, J.F., Béavogui, F., and Dramé, D., 2011, Le Fonio, Une Céréale Africaine, Agricultures tropicales en poche, Quae Editions, Presses Agronomiques de Gembloux, Belgium.

[18] Ayanda, O.S., Aremu, O.H., Akintayo, C.O., Sodeinde, K.O., Igboama, W.N., Oseghe, E.O., and Nelana, S.M., 2011, Sonocatalytic degradation of amoxicillin from aquaculture effluent by zinc oxide nanoparticles, Environ. Nanotechnol. Monit. Manage., 16, 100513.

[19] Awe, A.A., Opeolu, B.O., Fatoki, O.S., Ayanda, O.S., Jackson, V.A., and Snyman, R., 2020, Preparation and characterisation of activated carbon from Vitis vinifera leaf litter and its adsorption performance for aqueous phenanthrene, Appl. Biol. Chem., 63 (1), 12.

[20] Alimi, B.A., Workneh, T.S., and Femi, F.A., 2021, Fabrication and characterization of edible films from acha (Digitalia exilis) and iburu (Digitalia iburua) starches, CyTA-J. Food, 19 (1), 493–500.

[21] Alibeigi, A.N., Javid, N., Amiri Gharaghani, M., Honarmandrad, Z., and Parsaie, F., 2021, Synthesis, characteristics, and photocatalytic activity of zinc oxide nanoparticles stabilized on the stone surface for degradation of metronidazole from aqueous solution, Environ. Health Eng. Manage. J., 8 (1), 55–63.

[22] Jan, H., Shah, M., Usman, H., Khan, A., Zia, M., Hano, C., and Abbasi, B.H., 2020, Biogenic synthesis and characterization of antimicrobial and anti-parasitic zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles using aqueous extracts of the Himalayan columbine (Aquilegia pubiflora), Front. Mater., 7, 00249.

[23] Wei, C., Ge, Y., Liu, D., Zhao, S., Wei, M., Jiliu, J., Hu, X., Quan, Z., Wu, Y., Su, Y., Wang, Y., and Cao, L., 2022, Effects of high-temperature, high-pressure, and ultrasonic treatment on the physicochemical properties and structure of soluble dietary fibers of millet bran, Front. Nutr., 8, 820715.

[24] Bello, O.M., Ogbesejana, A.B., Balkisu, A., Osibemhe, M., Musa, B., and Oguntoye, S.O., 2022, Polyphenolic fractions from three millet types (Fonio, Finger millet, and Pearl millet): Their characterization and biological importance, Clin. Complementary Med. Pharmacol., 2 (1), 100020.

[25] Al-Kordy, H.M.H., Sabry, S.A., and Mabrouk, M.E.M., 2021, Statistical optimization of experimental parameters for extracellular synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles by a novel haloalaliphilic Alkalibacillus sp. W7, Sci. Rep., 11 (1), 10924.

[26] Mohan, A.C., and Renjanadevi, B., 2016, Preparation of zinc oxide nanoparticles and its characterization using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), Procedia Technol., 24, 761–766.

[27] Moradmand Jalali, H., and Dezhampanah, H., 2021, Kinetic investigation of photo-degradation of amoxicillin, ampicillin, and cloxacillin by semiconductors using Monte Carlo simulation, Chem. Eng. Commun., 208 (2), 159–165.

[28] Khezrianjoo, S., and Revanasiddappa, H.D., 2013, Photocatalytic degradation of acid yellow 36 using zinc oxide photocatalyst in aqueous media, J. Catal., 2013, 582058.

[29] Isai, K.A., and Shrivastava, V.S., 2019, Photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue using ZnO and 2% Fe–ZnO semiconductor nanomaterials synthesized by sol–gel method: A comparative study, SN Appl. Sci., 1 (10), 1247.

[30] Asgharzadeh, F., Gholami, M., Jafari, A.J., Kermani, M., Asgharnia, H., and Kalantary, R.R., 2019, Heterogeneous photocatalytic degradation of metronidazole from aqueous solutions using Fe3O4/TiO2 supported on biochar, Desalin. Water Treat., 175, 304–315.

[31] Sheikhsamany, R., Faghihian, H., and Fazaeli, R., 2022, Synthesis of novel HKUST-1-based SnO2 porous nanocomposite with the photocatalytic capability for degradation of metronidazole, Mater. Sci. Semicond. Process., 138, 106310.

[32] Tran, M.L., Fu, C.C., and Juang, R.S., 2018, Removal of metronidazole by TiO2 and ZnO photocatalysis: A comprehensive comparison of process optimization and transformation products, Environ. Sci. Pollut. Res., 25 (28), 28285–28295.

[33] Nasiri, A., Tamaddon, F., Mosslemin, M.H., Gharaghani, M.A., and Asadipour, A., 2019, New magnetic nanobiocomposite CoFe2O4@ methycellulose: Facile synthesis, characterization, and photocatalytic degradation of metronidazole, J. Mater. Sci.: Mater. Electron., 30 (9), 8595–8610.

[34] Tran, M.L., Nguyen, C.H., Fu, C.C., and Juang, R.S., 2019, Hybridizing Ag-Doped ZnO nanoparticles with graphite as potential photocatalysts for enhanced removal of metronidazole antibiotic from water, J. Environ. Manage., 252, 109611.

[35] Stando, K., Kasprzyk, P., Felis, E., and Bajkacz, S., 2021, Heterogeneous photocatalysis of metronidazole in aquatic samples, Molecules, 26 (24), 7612.

[36] Taoufik, N., Boumya, W., Achak, M., Sillanpää, M., and Barka, N., 2021, Comparative overview of advanced oxidation processes and biological approaches for the removal pharmaceuticals, J. Environ. Manage., 288, 112404.


Article Metrics

Abstract views : 1029 | views : 538

Copyright (c) 2023 Indonesian Journal of Chemistry

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


Indonesian Journal of Chemistry (ISSN 1411-9420 / 2460-1578) - Chemistry Department, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia.

Analytics View The Statistics of Indones. J. Chem.