Efficient photocatalytic degradation of emerging ciprofloxacin under visible light irradiation using BiOBr/carbon quantum dot/saponite composite

Chitiphon Chuaicham, Karthikeyan Sekar, Vellaichamy Balakumar, Junya Uchida, Takumi Katsurao, Hiroshi Sakabe, Bunsho Ohtani, Keiko Sasaki

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The use of visible-driven photocatalysts has fascinated attention as a capable and sustainable approach for wastewater remediation. In this work, BiOBr/carbon quantum dot (CQDs)/saponite composites (CQDs/Clay@BiOBr) were fabricated via hydrothermally using two different CQDs/Clay precursors (in-situ synthesis (IS) and physical mixing (PM)). The obtained products were characterized, and the photocatalytic performances of the prepared samples were evaluated in the photocatalytic decomposition of emerging ciprofloxacin (CIP) pharmaceutical waste. The highest CIP mineralization performance was achieved when a combination of BiOBr and CQDs/Clay (IS) with the appropriate proportion because the strong adhesion between CQDs and clay generate a great heterojunction in the composite. The stronger interaction of CQDs and better distribution of CQDs on the surface of clay in the CQDs/Clay (IS) enhanced the interaction of BiOBr and CQDs, and avoided the re-agglomeration of excess of CQDs on surface of BiOBr which reduce the active surface to receive the light and react with CIP. The ultrafast degradation rate of the optimized CQDs/Clay@BiOBr composite was better compared to others. The significant improvement in the CIP degradation efficiency of the CQDs/Clay@BiOBr composite was attributed to the excellent separation and transportation of photogenerated electrons and holes, as confirmed by photoluminescence, photocurrent density, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy results. Moreover, the photocatalytic degradation mechanism of CIP in the CQDs/Clay@BiOBr composite was proposed based on the electronic states of each material in the composite and on a scavenger test. Thus, the proposed CQDs/Clay@BiOBr composite can be employed as a potential visible-light-driven photocatalyst for the decomposition of organic contaminants in wastewater.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113635
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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