Chemical Papers

, Volume 73, Issue 1, pp 249–260 | Cite as

Study of ciprofloxacin degradation by zero-valent copper nanoparticles

  • Paloma Viana Ferreira de Sousa
  • André Fernando de Oliveira
  • Antônio Alberto da Silva
  • Boniek Gontijo Vaz
  • Renata Pereira LopesEmail author
Original Paper


In this study, ciprofloxacin (CIP) degradation by zero-valent copper nanoparticles (nZVC) was investigated. The nZVC were characterized by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray spectroscopy by dispersion in energy (EDS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Approximately 100% of degradation was obtained at CIP concentration of 20 mg L−1, pH 3.5 and dose of nZVC of 0.5 g L−1. The reaction mechanism was investigated and showed that the CIP degradation occurs in acidic conditions via active radical-forming species of oxygen, formed from Cu(I). In basic conditions the removal mechanism proved to be different from the one observed for the acidic conditions. The desorption studies confirmed that the CIP is adsorbed in the nZVC in this condition. The degradation kinetics is favored by the increased dosage and temperature and the addition of chloride anion. The nanoparticles reuse assays (a cycle) were performed and showed an efficiency of about 70%. The residual copper (50 mg L−1) in the system was minimized by precipitation assays at pH 8.8, showing a concentration of only 1.05 mg L−1. Finally, proposals were made of the degradation by-products, which indicated the molecule oxidation, proving the degradation hypothesis via active radical-forming oxygen species.

Graphical abstract


Zero-valent copper Nanoparticles Ciprofloxacin Degradation 



The authors acknowledge Brazilian agency CAPES (Coordination of Improvement of Higher Level Personnel) for financial support. We also thank the Center of Microscopy at the Federal University of Minas Gerais ( for providing the equipment and technical support for experiments involving electron microscopy.

Supplementary material

11696_2018_575_MOESM1_ESM.docx (728 kb)
Supplementary data (CIP Analytical Curve, MET, EDS, X-Ray, graphical of degradation of CIP by Cu2O and nZVC under oxic and anoxic conditions at pH 3.5 and 8.0, respectively, Reuse and ESI(+)MS) 1 (DOCX 727 kb)


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Copyright information

© Institute of Chemistry, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paloma Viana Ferreira de Sousa
    • 1
  • André Fernando de Oliveira
    • 1
  • Antônio Alberto da Silva
    • 2
  • Boniek Gontijo Vaz
    • 3
  • Renata Pereira Lopes
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Chemistry DepartmentFederal University of ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.Crop Science DepartmentFederal University of ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  3. 3.Chemistry InstituteFederal University of GoiásGoiâniaBrazil

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