Pelin Alicanoglu

Pelin Alicanoglu

Pamukkale University, Turkey

Title: Photodegradation of Levofloxacin Antibiotic via Graphene/TiO2 and Its Reusability


Pelin Alicanoglu is a PhD candidate at Pamukkale University. Pelin completed her Master Degree at Dokuz Eylül University. She has expertise on wastewater treatment, advanced oxidation processes, micropollutant removal and nanotechnology. Currently, she is research assistant at Pamukkale University. 


Antibiotics are extensively being used in our lives for human disease treatment, aquaculture, and livestock operations. Due to the inappropriate wastewater disposal practices, a portion of the antibiotics are discharged into the environment in their original or metabolized forms [1]. Levofloxacin (LEV) is a more recently developed antibiotic belonging to the fluoroquinolones (FQs) which are synthetic broad spectrum antibiotics and is the optical S-(-) isomer of ofloxacin [2]. However, it is difficult to remove LEV from wastewater through traditional biological methods because of its toxicity and low biodegradability [2]. Graphene oxide (GO) is hydrophilic due to the oxygen-containing functional groups on its surface, which renders GO sheet a good candidate for supporting nanoparticles in liquid phase [3]. TiO2 could produce powerful oxidants capable to degrade organic pollutants until total mineralization [4]. Semiconductor materials have been widely studied and used in the fields of pollutant degradation due to their environment friendliness [3]. The aim of the present work was to synthesize a new nanoparticle (G-TiO2) and remove LEV antibiotic from synthetic wastewater at different operational conditions. In order to determine the maximum photodegradation yields of LEV with G-TiO2 composite, the effects of increasing LEV concentrations (1, 5, 25 and 100 mg/L), increasing irradiation times (15, 30, 45, 60 and 120 min), increasing G-TiO2 concentrations (0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 g/L) and different pH levels (4, 7 and 10) were researched. The maximum removal efficiency of LEV (for 1 mg/L) was obtained as 97% {G-TiO2 concentration: 0.25 g/L, pH: 7, temperature: 21°C, UV power: 300 W, irradiation time: 45 min}. Moreover, six sequential treatment steps were investigated for determination of reusability of G-TiO2 composite. The photocatalytic degradation percentage was reduced from 97% to 74% on first cycle to sixth cycle.