Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 2782–2793 | Cite as

Antimicrobial activity of X zeolite exchanged with Cu2+ and Zn2+ on Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus

  • Guangyuan Yao
  • Jingjing Lei
  • Wanzhong Zhang
  • Caihong Yu
  • Zhiming SunEmail author
  • Shuilin ZhengEmail author
  • Sridhar KomarneniEmail author
Research Article


The biocidal cations of Cu2+ and Zn2+ were hosted on the surfaces and in the cavities of X zeolite via ion exchange. The microstructure and interface properties of the exchanged zeolite X samples were analyzed by XRD, SEM, XPS, and XRF. The as-prepared samples showed excellent antimicrobial activity towards gram-negative bacteria of Escherichia coli and gram-positive bacteria of Staphylococcus aureus. Furthermore, the batch antimicrobial experiments showed that the bacterial disinfection process fitted well with the first order model. The Cu2+-zeolite showed excellent and better antibacterial performance on S. aureus than on E. coli, and the mortalities of E. coli and S. aureus were almost 100% after 1 h with the initial Cu2+-zeolite concentrations of 1000 ppm and 100 ppm, respectively. However, the Zn2+-zeolites were found to be less effective on S. aureus than on E. coli, and the mortalities of E. coli and S. aureus were almost 100% after 1 h with the initial Zn2+-zeolite concentrations of 500 ppm and 1000 ppm, respectively. In addition, the relationships between the apparent rate constant (k) and reagent concentration (C) were also systematically investigated. The present results suggest that the as-prepared samples could be promising antibacterial materials for the efficient disinfection of contaminated water with bacteria.


X zeolite Ion exchange Copper and zinc Antimicrobial activity 


Funding information

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFB0310803-4), the Young Elite Scientists Sponsorship Program by CAST (2017QNRC001), the Yueqi Funding Scheme for Young Scholars (China university of Mining &Technology, Beijing), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2015QH01 and 2010YH10). The first author also thanks the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for financial support.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3750_MOESM1_ESM.docx (615 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 615 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Chemical and Environmental EngineeringChina University of Mining and Technology (Beijing)BeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Ecosystem Science and Management and Materials Research Institute, 204 Energy and the Environment LaboratoryThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

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