Electrospun NiO, ZnO and composite NiO–ZnO nanofibers/photocatalytic degradation of dairy effluent

Muzafar Ahmad Kanjwal, Ioannis S. Chronakis, Nasser A.M. Barakat

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Among the food wastes, the dairy effluent (DE) is considered to be the most polluting one because of the large volume of wastewater generated and its high organic load. Photocatalytic degradation of DE and organic dye methylene blue (MB) was studied using Zinc oxide nanofibers (ZnO NFs), Nickel oxide nanofibers (NiO NFs) and composite Zinc oxide–Nickel oxide nanofibers (ZnO–NiO NFs). These nanomembranes were characterized in SEM, TEM, XRD and UV studies. The pristine nanofiber membranes were smooth and continuous, with an average diameter of about 400nm, and held their nanofibrous morphology even after calcination of 600°C and more than 3h of photocatalytic degradation of DE and MB dye. The ZnO NFs and NiO NFs were effective materials for degradation of DE and MB dye. NiO NFs and ZnO NFs showed a maximum degradation of 70% and 75% in DE and 50% and 60% in MB dye respectively, after 3h. The significant enhancement of degradation in the composite ZnO–NiO NFs is attributed to the photoactivity of material under visible light irradiation. The composite ZnO–NiO NFs eliminated 40% of DE and 65% of MB dye, after 1h and maximum degradation of 80% DE after 3h and 100% MB dye after 90min. Overall, this study also shows that the nanofibrous morphology strongly enhances the surface activity of the ZnO–NiO photocatalyst when utilized to degrade DE and MB dye at room temperature.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCeramics International
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)12229-12236
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Dairy effluent
  • Electrospinning
  • Nickel oxide
  • Zinc oxide
  • Nickel oxide–Zinc oxide

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