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Photocatalytic Performance of Electrospun Silk Fibroin/ZnO Mats to Remove Pesticide Residues from Water under Natural Sunlight

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Sustainability and Quality Group of Fruit and Vegetable Products, Murcia Institute of Agri-Food Research and Development, C/ Mayor s/n. La Alberca, 30150 Murcia, Spain
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Biotechnology Group, Murcia Institute of Agri-Food Research and Development, C/ Mayor s/n. La Alberca, 30150 Murcia, Spain
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Applied Technology Group to Environmental Health, Faculty of Health Science, Catholic University of Murcia, Campus de Los Jerónimos, s/n. Guadalupe, 30107 Murcia, Spain
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Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Geology and Pedology, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Murcia, Campus Universitario de Espinardo, 30100 Murcia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2020, 10(1), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal10010110
Received: 23 December 2019 / Revised: 9 January 2020 / Accepted: 10 January 2020 / Published: 12 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trends in Catalytic Advanced Oxidation Processes)
We have evaluated the efficiency of silk fibroin (SF) coated with ZnO nanoparticles in the photocatalytic disappearance of one acaricide (etoxazole) and three fungicides (difenoconazole, myclobutanil and penconazole) in water exposed to sunlight irradiation. Electrospun SF/ZnO mats were successfully synthesized by electrospinning technique and characterized by XRD, FE-SEM, XPS, XDS, FTIR, and BET. The influence of catalyst loading on the degradation kinetics of the different pesticides was examined in order to gain knowledge of maximum degradation efficiency. A significant increment in degradation rates was observed with the addition of ZnO. SF mats with 25 mg of ZnO were finally selected since no significant differences (p < 0.05) were detected when the loading was enlarged from 25 to 50 mg for the majority of the compounds. In the experimental conditions, the half-lives ranged from 33 min to 93 min for etoxazole and myclobutanil, respectively. The comparison of SF materials coated with similar amount of TiO2 and ZnO showed that the later was slightly more efficient to remove pesticide residues. Hence, the use of electrospun SF/ZnO nanostructures would provide an environmentally friendly approach with photocatalytic activity to be applied in the reclamation of water polluted by pesticides. View Full-Text
Keywords: electrospun silk fibroin/ZnO mats; photocatalytic characterization; pesticides; solar irradiation; water remediation electrospun silk fibroin/ZnO mats; photocatalytic characterization; pesticides; solar irradiation; water remediation
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Garrido, I.; Aznar-Cervantes, S.; Aliste, M.; Yáñez-Gascón, M.J.; Vela, N.; Cenis, J.L.; Navarro, S.; Fenoll, J. Photocatalytic Performance of Electrospun Silk Fibroin/ZnO Mats to Remove Pesticide Residues from Water under Natural Sunlight. Catalysts 2020, 10, 110.

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