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Green Fabrication of ZnO Nanoparticles and ZnO/rGO Nanocomposites from Algerian Date Syrup Extract: Synthesis, Characterization, and Augmented Photocatalytic Efficiency in Methylene Blue Degradation

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jie ZhangORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2024 by the authors.This innovative article provides a detailed description of the successful biosynthesis of zinc nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) using an aqueous extract of Algerian Date Syrup, also known as molasses. A meticulous process was carried out to determine the optimal calcination temperature for ZnO-NPs, a crucial step in the preparation of these nanoparticles. The study was further extended by creating ZnO/rGOx nanocomposites through a hydrothermal method, varying the concentrations of reduced graphene oxide (rGO) at 5%, 10%, and 15%. The characteristics of the nanocomposites were thoroughly explored, encompassing chemical, optical, and morphological aspects, using sophisticated analysis techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (UV DRS), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and X-ray diffraction (XRD). These analyses provided an in-depth understanding of the structure and properties of the nanocomposites. The centerpiece of this study is the evaluation of the photocatalytic degradation capacity of ZnO-NPs and ZnO/rGOx nanocomposites. These materials have demonstrated their ability to act as cost-effective and environmentally friendly photocatalysts for wastewater treatment. Experiments on methylene blue degradation under UV irradiation were conducted, yielding impressive results: a degradation efficiency of 86.6% was achieved in 140 min using 1 g/L of ZnO-NPs, and this rate reached 100% with the ZnO/rGO catalyst in the same time frame, highlighting its superiority as a photocatalyst. Furthermore, this study examined the variables affecting the photocatalysis experiment, including the solution’s pH and the amount of catalyst. The results revealed that the ZnO/rGO photocatalyst reached its optimal efficiency under neutral pH conditions and at a concentration of 1 g/L, providing crucial information for practical use of these materials. This enriched article highlights the promising potential of ZnO-NPs and ZnO/rGOx nanocomposites as efficient photocatalysts for methylene blue degradation, paving the way for significant environmental applications in wastewater treatment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Madi K, Chebli D, Ait Youcef H, Tahraoui H, Bouguettoucha A, Kebir M, Zhang J, Amrane A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Catalysts

Year: 2024

Volume: 14

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 13/01/2024

Acceptance date: 10/01/2024

Date deposited: 20/02/2024

ISSN (electronic): 2073-4344,

Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)


DOI: 10.3390/catal14010062


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