Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 2804–2819 | Cite as

Solar photocatalytic degradation of 2-chlorophenol with ZnO nanoparticles: optimisation with D-optimal design and study of intermediate mechanisms

  • Muneer M. Ba-AbbadEmail author
  • Mohd S. Takriff
  • Abdul Amir H. Kadhum
  • Abu Bakar Mohamad
  • Abdelbaki Benamor
  • Abdul Wahab Mohammad
Research Article


In this study, the photocatalytic degradation of toxic pollutant (2-chlorophenol) in the presence of ZnO nanoparticles (ZnO NPs) was investigated under solar radiation. The three main factors, namely pH of solution, solar intensity and calcination temperature, were selected in order to examine their effects on the efficiency of the degradation process. The response surface methodology (RSM) technique based on D-optimal design was applied to optimise the process. ANOVA analysis showed that solar intensity and calcination temperature were the two significant factors for degradation efficiency. The optimum conditions in the model were solar intensity at 19.8 W/m2, calcination temperature at 404 °C and pH of 6.0. The maximum degradation efficiency was predicted to be 90.5% which was in good agreement with the actual experimental value of 93.5%. The fit of the D-optimal design correlated very well with the experimental results with higher values of R 2 and R 2 adj correlation coefficients of 0.9847 and 0.9676, respectively. The intermediate mechanism behaviour of the 2-chlorophenol degradation process was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The results confirmed that 2-chlorophenol was converted to acetic acid, a non-toxic compound.


2-chlorophenol Photocatalytic ZnO NPs D-optimal design 



The authors wish to thank the Research Centre for Sustainable Process Technology (CESPRO), Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for supporting this study under project PKT-6/2012, iconic-2014-004 and NPRP grant no. [5-1425-2-607] from the Qatar National Research Fund (a member of Qatar Foundation). Muneer M. Ba-Abbad is also grateful to the Hadhramout University of Science & Technology, Yemen for financial support of his PhD.

Supplementary material

11356_2016_8033_MOESM1_ESM.docx (225 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 224 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muneer M. Ba-Abbad
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Mohd S. Takriff
    • 1
    • 2
  • Abdul Amir H. Kadhum
    • 2
  • Abu Bakar Mohamad
    • 2
    • 4
  • Abdelbaki Benamor
    • 5
  • Abdul Wahab Mohammad
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Centre For Sustainable Process Technology, Faculty of Engineering and Built EnvironmentUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  2. 2.Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built EnvironmentUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  3. 3.Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and PetroleumHadhramout University of Science & TechnologyMukallaYemen
  4. 4.Fuel Cell InstituteUniversiti Kebangsaan MalaysiaBangiMalaysia
  5. 5.Gas Processing CentreQatar UniversityDohaQatar

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