Characterizing reactive oxygen generation and bacterial inactivation by a zerovalent iron-fullerene nano-composite device at neutral pH under UV-A illumination.

Research paper by Esra E Erdim, Appala Raju AR Badireddy, Mark R MR Wiesner

Indexed on: 30 Sep '14Published on: 30 Sep '14Published in: Journal of Hazardous Materials


A nano-composite device composed of nano-scale zerovalent iron (ZVI) and C60 fullerene aggregates (ZVI/nC60) was produced via a rapid nucleation method. The device was conceived to deliver reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by photosensitization and/or electron transfer to targeted contaminants, including waterborne pathogens under neutral pH conditions. Certain variations of the nano-composite were fabricated differing in the amounts of (1) ZVI (0.1mM and 2mM) but not nC60 (2.5mg-C/L), and (2) nC60 (0-25mg-C/L) but not ZVI (0.1mM). The generation of ROS by the ZVI/nC60 nano-composites and ZVI nanoparticles was quantified using organic probe compounds. 0.1mM ZVI/2.5mg-C/L C60 generated 3.74-fold higher O2(-) concentration and also resulted in an additional 2-log inactivation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa when compared to 0.1mM ZVI (3-log inactivation). 2mM ZVI/2.5mg-C/L nC60 showed negligible improvement over 2mM ZVI in terms of O2(-) generation or inactivation. Further, incremental amounts of nC60 in the range of 0-25mg-C/L in 0.1mM ZVI/nC60 led to increased O2(-) concentration, independent of UV-A. This study demonstrates that ZVI/nC60 device delivers (1) enhanced O2(-) with nC60 as a mediator for electron transfer, and (2) (1)O2 (only under UV-A illumination) at neutral pH conditions.