Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 30, pp 30941–30953 | Cite as

Photocatalytic mineralization of hard-degradable morphine by visible light-driven Ag@g-C3N4 nanostructures

  • Hossein Azizi-ToupkanlooEmail author
  • Mahdi Karimi-NazarabadEmail author
  • Mahbubeh Shakeri
  • Mohammad Eftekhari
Research Article


The entrance of some hard-degradable pharmaceutical contaminants can cause irreparable damage to humans and other organisms; therefore, removing these pollutants from water is one of the most important activities in water purification field. In this work, the mineralization of morphine was performed using photocatalytic degradation method. Graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) nanosheets, due to their promising tunable characteristics, were chosen as visible-light-driven nanostructured heterogeneous photocatalyst. To enhance the photocatalytic activity, g-C3N4 was doped with Ag noble metal due to its surface plasmon resonance effect and acting as an electron sink. The photodegradation of morphine was evaluated under different pH values, the dosage of the photocatalyst, initial concentration of morphine, and Ag% loading under sunlight as green energy. The maximum efficiency was obtained in the very low concentration of Ag@g-C3N4 photocatalyst with the superior low value of 0.17 g L−1. Near complete mineralization of morphine was achieved by Ag@g-C3N4 with metal content percentage equal to 5 in 180 min and pH = 2. Also, using various active species scavengers, superoxide anion radical was identified as the main responsible species in the photocatalysis reaction of morphine degradation.


Ag@g-C3N4 Morphine Photodegradation Mineralization Scavengers 


Funding information

The University of Neyshabur supported this project (Grant No. 96/1098).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of NeyshaburNeyshaburIran
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of ScienceFerdowsi University of MashhadMashhadIran
  3. 3.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Samen Hojaj, Mashhad BranchTechnical and Vocational UniversityTehranIran

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