Intimately coupled gC3N4 photocatalysis and mixed culture biofilm enhanced detoxification of sulfamethoxazole: Elucidating degradation mechanism and toxicity assessment

Kuppusamy Sathishkumar, Velu Rajesh Kannan, Mohamad S. Alsalhi, Aruliah Rajasekar, Sandhanasamy Devanesan, Jayaraman Narenkumar, Woong Kim, Xinghui Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

In recent years, wide spread of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms and genes emerging globally, an eco-friendly method for efficient degradation of antibiotics from the polluted environment is essential. Intimately coupled photocatalysis and biodegradation (ICPB) using gC3N4 for enhanced degradation of sulfamethoxazole (SMX) was investigated. The gC3N4 were prepared and coated on the carbon felt. The mixed culture biofilm was developed on the surface as a biocarrier. The photocatalytic degradation showed 74%, and ICPB exhibited 95% SMX degradation efficiency. ICPB showed superior visible light adsorption, photocatalytic activity, and reduced charge recombination. The electron paramagnetic resonance spectrum confirms that the generation of •OH and O2• radicals actively participated in the degradation of SMX into biodegradable intermediated compounds, and then, the bacterial communities present in the biofilm mineralized the biodegradable compound into carbon dioxide and water. Moreover, the addition of NO3, PO4−, and Cl significantly enhanced the degradation efficiency by trapping the surface electron. Stability experiments confirmed that gC3N4 biohybrid can maintain 85% SMX degradation efficiency after 5 consecutive recycling. Extracellular polymeric substances characterization results show that biohybrid contains 47 mg/L, 14 mg/L, and 13 mg/L protein, carbohydrate, and humic acid, respectively, which can protect the bacterial communities from the antibiotic toxicity and reactive oxygen species. Furthermore, biotoxicity was investigated using degradation products on E.coli and results revealed 83% detoxification efficiency. Overall, this study suggested that gC3N4 photocatalyst in an ICPB can be used as a promising eco-friendly method to degrade sulfamethoxazole efficiently.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113824
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume214
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Keywords

  • Antibiotic
  • Biodegradation
  • Biotoxicity
  • Photocatalyst
  • Sulfamethoxazole

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