Experimental and theoretical aspects of biochar-supported nanoscale zero-valent iron activating H2O2 for ciprofloxacin removal from aqueous solution

Qiming Mao, Yaoyu Zhou, Yuan Yang, Jiachao Zhang, Lifen Liang, Hailong Wang, Shuang Luo, Lin Luo, Paramsothy Jeyakumar, Yong Sik Ok, Muhammad Rizwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Ciprofloxacin has been frequently detected in water environment, and its removal has become a significant public concern. Biochar-supported nanoscale zero-valent iron (BC/nZVI) to activate hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has many advantages on promoting the removal of organic contaminants. In this paper, the BC/nZVI activating H2O2 degradation of ciprofloxacin was systematically investigated by experimental and theoretical approaches. The morphologies and property analysis showed that nZVI particles distributed uniformly on the biochar surface, which mainly include OH, >C[dbnd]O and C[sbnd]O[sbnd]C and C[sbnd]O groups. Different reaction conditions were compared to define the optimal conditions for ciprofloxacin removal in BC/nZVI/H2O2 system. More than 70% of ciprofloxacin was removed in the optimal conditions: acidic condition (pH 3∼4), low doses of H2O2 (20 mM), and temperature of 298 K. The hydroxyl radical (OH) oxidation was the primary pathway in BC/nZVI/H2O2 degradation of ciprofloxacin process. The theoretical calculation indicated that hydrogen atom abstraction (HAA) pathways were the dominant oxidation pathways contributing 92.3% in overall second‒order rate constants (k) of OH and ciprofloxacin. The current results are valuable to evaluate the application of BC/nZVI activating H2O2 degradation of ciprofloxacin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics in water treatment plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120848
JournalJournal of hazardous materials
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 15


  • Advanced oxidation processes
  • Biochar-supported
  • Density functional theory
  • Nanoscale zero-valent iron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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