Photocatalytic degradation of phenol in water solutions using zno nanoparticles immobilized on glass

Document Type: Original Article


1 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Health, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Health Engineering, School of Health, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran

3 Department of English Language, School of Medicine, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran


Phenol and its derivatives are pollutant compounds that are present in the wastewater of many industries. The objective of this study was to investigate the photocatalytic degradation of phenol in water containing various concentrations of sodium chloride. A laboratory study was conducted to evaluate the performance of UV/ZnO process on the efficiency of phenol removal from saline water with ZnO nanoparticles fixed on glass using UVC radiation. The effects of pH, contact time, sodium chloride concentrations, and the initial concentration of phenol on the photocatalytic removal of phenol were studied. The photocatalytic degradation of phenol showed suitable efficiency under the absence of sodium chloride (100% phenol removal at a concentration of 5 mg/l and during 120 minutes). However, the removal efficiency decreased in the presence of a concentration of 30 g/l of sodium chloride (92.4%). Additionally, phenol photocatalytic degradation efficiency decreased as a result of an increase in the initial concentration of phenol and the efficiency increased as a result of a decrease in pH (pH = 3). The results obtained from this study indicated that ZnO nanoparticles or ultraviolet rays alone cannot remove phenol fully and have a much lower efficiency in comparison with the photocatalytic degradation of phenol. Thus, the photocatalytic degradation process (UV/ZnO) is an effective method of removing phenol from saline water solutions. 


  1. Juang RS, Huang WC, Hsu YH. Treatment of phenol in synthetic saline wastewater by solvent extraction and two-phase membrane biodegradation. J Hazard Mater 2009; 164(1): 46-52.
  2. Moussavi G, Khavanin A, Alizadeh R. The investigation of catalytic ozonation and integrated catalytic ozonation/biological processes for the removal of phenol from saline wastewaters. J Hazard Mater 2009; 171(1-3): 175-81.
  3. Martinkova L, Kotik M, Markova E, Homolka L. Biodegradation of phenolic compounds by Basidiomycota and its phenol oxidases: A review. Chemosphere 2016; 149: 373-82.
  4. Sen BK, Deshmukh DK, Deb MK, Verma D, Pal J. Removal of phenolic compounds from aqueous phase by adsorption onto polymer supported iron nanoparticles. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 2014; 93(5): 549-54.
  5. Vlastos D, Antonopoulou M, Konstantinou I. Evaluation of toxicity and genotoxicity of 2-chlorophenol on bacteria, fish and human cells. Sci Total Environ 2016; 551-552: 649-55.
  6. Busca G, Berardinelli S, Resini C, Arrighi L. Technologies for the removal of phenol from fluid streams: a short review of recent developments. J Hazard Mater 2008; 160(2-3): 265-88.
  7. Balasubramanian A, Venkatesan S. Removal of phenolic compounds from aqueous solutions by emulsion liquid membrane containing Ionic Liquid [BMIM]+[PF6] in Tributyl phosphate. Desalination 2012; 289: 27-34.
  8. Mukherjee S, Kumar S, Misra AK, Fan M. Removal of phenols from water environment by activated carbon, bagasse ash and wood charcoal. Chemical Engineering Journal 2007; 129(1-3): 133-42.
  9. Bazrafshan E, Amirian P, Mahvi AH, Ansari-Moghaddam A. Application of adsorption process for phenolic compounds removal from aqueous environments: a systematic review. Global NEST Journal 2016; 18(1): 146-63.
  10. Carra I, Sanchez Perez JA, Malato S, Autin O, Jefferson B, Jarvis P. Performance of different advanced oxidation processes for tertiary wastewater treatment to remove the pesticide acetamiprid. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 2016; 91(1): 72-81.
  11. Lee KM, Lai CW, Ngai KS, Juan JC. Recent developments of zinc oxide based photocatalyst in water treatment technology: A review. Water Research 2016; 88: 428-48.
  12. Xu Yh, Liang Dh, Liu Ml, Liu Dz. Preparation and characterization of Cu2O TiO2: Efficient photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue. Materials Research Bulletin 2008; 43(12): 3474-82.
  13. Eydivand S, Nikazar M. Degradation of 1,2-dichloroethane in simulated wastewater solution: a comprehensive study by photocatalysis using TiO2 and Zno nanoparticles. Chem Eng Commun 2015; 202(2): 102-11.
  14. Behnajady MA, Modirshahla N, Hamzavi R. Kinetic study on photocatalytic degradation of C.I. Acid Yellow 23 by ZnO photocatalyst. J Hazard Mater 2006; 133(1-3): 226-32.
  15. Sobana N, Swaminathan M. Combination effect of ZnO and activated carbon for solar assisted photocatalytic degradation of Direct Blue 53. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells 2007; 91(8): 727-34.
  16. Azevedo EB, de Aquino Neto FR, Dezotti M. TiO2-photocatalyzed degradation of phenol in saline media: lumped kinetics, intermediates, and acute toxicity. Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 2004; 54(3): 165-73.
  17. Al-Rasheed R, Cardin DJ. Photocatalytic degradation
  18. of humic acid in saline waters. Part 1. Artificial seawater: influence of TiO2, temperature, pH, and air-flow. Chemosphere 2003; 51(9): 925-33.
  19. Kashif N, Ouyang F. Parameters effect on heterogeneous photocatalysed degradation of phenol in aqueous dispersion of TiO2. J Environ Sci (China) 2009; 21(4): 527-33.
  20. Khodja AA, Sehili T, Pilichowski JF, Boule P. Photocatalytic degradation of 2-phenylphenol on TiO2 and ZnO in aqueous suspensions. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry 2001; 141(2-3): 231-9.
  21. Masoumbeigi H, Rezaee A, Khataee A, Hashemian SH. Effect of UV radiation intensity on photocatalytic removal of E. coli using immobilized ZnO nanoparticles. Trauma Mon 2009; 14(3): 149-53.
  22. Eaton AD, Franson MA. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water & Wastewater. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association; 2005.
  23. Gaya UI, Abdullah AH, Zainal Z, Hussein MZ. Photocatalytic treatment of 4-chlorophenol in aqueous ZnO suspensions: intermediates, influence of dosage and inorganic anions. J Hazard Mater 2009; 168(1): 57-63.
  24. Hemmati Borji S, Nasseri S, Nabizadeh Nodehi R, Mahvi A, Javadi A. Photocatalytic degradation of phenol in Aqueous Solutions by Fe(III)-doped TiO2/UV Process. Iran J Health Environ 2011; 3(4): 369-80.
  25. Wang J, Jiang Z, Zhang Z, Xie Y, Wang X, Xing Z, et al. Sonocatalytic degradation of acid red B and rhodamine B catalyzed by nano-sized ZnO powder under ultrasonic irradiation. Ultrason Sonochem 2008; 15(5): 768-74.
  26. Benhebal H, Chaib M, Salmon T, Geens J, Leonard A, Lambert SD, et al. Photocatalytic degradation of phenol and benzoic acid using zinc oxide powders prepared by the solgel process. Alexandria Engineering Journal 2013; 52(3): 517-23.
  27. Mrowetz M, Selli E. Photocatalytic degradation of
  28. formic and benzoic acids and hydrogen peroxide evolution in TiO2 and ZnO water suspensions. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry 2006; 180(1-2): 15-22.
  29. Maciel R, Sant'Anna GL, Dezotti M. Phenol removal from high salinity effluents using Fenton's reagent and photo-Fenton reactions. Chemosphere 2004; 57(7): 711-9.
  30. Papadam T, Xekoukoulotakis NP, Poulios I, Mantzavinos D. Photocatalytic transformation of acid orange 20 and Cr(VI) in aqueous TiO2 suspensions. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry 2007; 186(2-3): 308-15.
  31. LAmour RJA, Azevedo EB, Leite SGF, Dezotti M. Removal of phenol in high salinity media by a hybrid process (activated sludge + photocatalysis). Separation and Purification Technology 2008; 60(2): 142-6.
  32. Parida KM, Dash SS, Das DP. Physico-chemical characterization and photocatalytic activity of zinc oxide prepared by various methods. J Colloid Interface Sci 2006; 298(2): 787-93.
  33. Pardeshi SK, Patil AB. A simple route for photocatalytic degradation of phenol in aqueous zinc oxide suspension using solar energy. Solar Energy 2008; 82(8): 700-5.
  34. Chiou CH, Wu CY, Juang RS. Photocatalytic degradation of phenol and m-nitrophenol using irradiated TiO2 in aqueous solutions. Separation and Purification Technology 2008; 62(3): 559-64.
  35. Zamankhan H, Ayati B, Ganjidoust H. Photocatalytic Degradation of Phenol by Immobilized Nano ZnO on Concrete Surface. Iranian Journal of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering 2012; 31(3-4): 9-20.
  36. Alalm MG, Tawfik A. Solar Photocatalytic Degradation of Phenol in Aqueous Solutions Using Titanium Dioxide. International Journal of Chemical, Molecular, Nuclear, Materials and Metallurgical Engineering 2014; 8(2): 136-9.