Simultaneous photocatalytic and microbial degradation of dye-containing wastewater by a novel g-C3 N4 -P25 /photosynthetic bacteria composite

Xinying Zhang, Yan Wu, Gao Xiao, Zhenping Tang, Meiyin Wang, Fuchang Liu, Xuefeng Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
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Azo dyes are very resistant to light-induced fading and biodegradation. Existing advanced oxidative pre-treatment methods based on the generation of non-selective radicals cannot efficiently remove these dyes from wastewater streams, and post-treatment oxidative dye removal is problematic because it may leave many byproducts with unknown toxicity profiles in the outgoing water, or cause expensive complete mineralization. These problems could potentially be overcome by combining photocatalysis and biodegradation. A novel visiblelight-responsive hybrid dye removal agent featuring both photocatalysts (g-C3 N4 -P25 ) and photosynthetic bacteria encapsulated in calcium alginate beads was prepared by selfassembly. This system achieved a removal efficiency of 94% for the dye reactive brilliant red X-3b and also reduced the COD of synthetic wastewater samples by 84.7%, successfully decolorized synthetic dye-contaminated wastewater and reduced its COD, demonstrating the advantages of combining photocatalysis and biocatalysis for wastewater purification. The composite apparently degrades X-3b by initially converting the dye into aniline and phenol derivatives whose aryl moieties are then attacked by free radicals to form alkyl derivatives, preventing the accumulation of aromatic hydrocarbons that might suppress microbial activity. These alkyl intermediates are finally degraded by the photosynthetic bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0172747
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

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