Degradation of Polyethylene Plastic by Non-Embedded Visible-Light Iron-Doped Zinc Oxide Nanophotocatalyst

Maryam Zia, Sulaiman Faisal, Dilawar Farhan Shams, Farida Anjum, Mehk Saeed, ZiaUllah Shah, Akhtar Nadhman
2021 Applied Science and Convergence Technology  
This study investigated the photocatalytic degradation of pure low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and commercial-grade polyethylene (PE) films with iron-doped zinc oxide (Fe-ZnO) nanoparticles under visible light. The study was particularly focused on the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the types of plastic degradation. The Fe-ZnO were synthesized using the co-precipitation method and characterized by TEM and XRD. Degradation of 6.35 cm 2 films of LDPE and commercial grade PE was tested
more » ... rade PE was tested under artificial LED light (84 lm/W) and dark in Fe-ZnO suspensions of 10 ml having concentrations ranging from 10 to 1000 g/ml. The results showed a maximum weight reduction of 13.8 % for pure LDPE films at 200 g/ml and 15 % for commercial grade PE at 1000 g/ml in 14 days. In comparison, no weight reduction was observed in the dark, which confirmed that the degradation was induced by the production of ROS moieties in visible light i.e., singlet oxygen (30.11 %), hydroxyl ions (30.45 %), and hydroxyl radicals (39.34 %). The degradation was further confirmed by FTIR with the formation of alcohols and alkenes and SEM analysis that showed visible cracks in both LDPE and PE. The study unveiled Fe-ZnO nanoparticles as an efficient substitute to degrade polyethylene under visible light.
doi:10.5757/asct.2021.30.3.87 fatcat:kmjz5gxrr5fbfhi3digiiernzy