Graphene-based ZnCr layered double hydroxide nanocomposites as bactericidal agents with high sonophotocatalytic performances for degradation of rifampicin
Herein, ZnCr layered double hydroxide (ZnCr LDH), and its nanocomposites with GO and rGO were synthesized using the co-precipitation method. The samples were characterized using XRD, FT-IR, SEM, TEM, BET, and XPS techniques. The sonophotocatalytic activity of the ZnCr LDH, ZnCr LDH/GO, and ZnCr LDH/rGO was investigated via the degradation of rifampicin (RIF) in the ultrasonic bath under visible light irradiation. The synergy index of more than 1 determined for ZnCr LDH/rGO indicated the positive interaction of sonocatalysis and photocatalysis resulted by hybridizing the LDH nanosheets with rGO. The maximum sonophotocatalytic degradation efficiency of 87.3% was achieved in the presence of ZnCr LDH/rGO nanocomposite with the concentration of 1.5 g L-1 for degradation of RIF with an initial concentration of 15 mg L-1 within 60 min sonication under visible light irradiation. The addition of different scavengers indicated that hydroxyl radicals, superoxide anion radicals, and the generated holes played a dominant role in the degradation of the pollutant molecules. A possible degradation mechanism was suggested based on the intermediates. The antibacterial tests confirmed the higher antibacterial activity of ZnCr LDH/GO compared with ZnCr LDH and ZnCr LDH/rGO against Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus.