Nanocomposites from spent coffee grounds and iron/zinc oxide: green synthesis, characterization, and application in textile wastewater treatment

By J. A. Reyes-Pérez, G. Roa-Morales,C. A. De León-Condes, & P. Balderas-Hernández

This blog post provides an introduction to the recently published paper from Water Science and Technology and highlights some of the key features of the research.

We're thrilled to share the findings of our latest scientific study, which introduces a groundbreaking development in the field of nanotechnology and environmental remediation. In our research, we explored the innovative use of spent coffee grounds (SCGs) as a supporting material for bimetallic FeO/ZnO nanoparticles. Leveraging the antioxidant-rich properties of eucalyptus and trumpet leaves as bio-reductant agents, we successfully synthesized stable nanoparticles with diameters ranging from 5 to 30 nm.

To validate the quality and efficacy of our nanocomposite, we employed an array of analytical techniques, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM).

The potential applications of our FeO/ZnO nanoparticles are truly remarkable. They exhibit exceptional catalytic activity in Fenton-like processes, with a remarkable 88% decolorization ratio of indigo carmine in the presence of H2O2. Moreover, this breakthrough led to a substantial reduction in chemical oxygen demand (COD) by 56% when applied to the degradation of textile dyes in wastewater.

This study harnessed the power of Box–Behnken experimental design (BBD) to identify the optimal conditions for achieving maximum removal efficiency. With three key factors in play, we achieved remarkable results at an initial pH of 3.0, a catalyst dose of 0.5 g/L, an H2O2 concentration of 8.8 mM/L, an initial dye concentration of 100 mg/L, and a temperature of 25 °C, all within 120 minutes of contact time.

This research not only demonstrates the potential of green synthesis techniques but also highlights a sustainable approach to tackling environmental pollution. The FeO/ZnO nanoparticles, supported by spent coffee grounds and enriched by natural bio-reductants, offer a promising avenue for cleaner and more eco-friendly wastewater treatment.

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