Sol-Gel Synthesis of New TiO2 Ball/Activated Carbon Photocatalyst and Its Application for Degradation of Three Hormones: 17α-EthinylEstradiol, Estrone, and β-Estradiol


  • El Mouchtari El Mountassir
  • El Mersly Lekbira
  • Belkodia Kaltoum
  • Piram Anne
  • Lebarillier Stéphanie
  • Briche Samir
  • Rafqah Salah
  • Wong-Wah-Chung Pascal


  • Sol-gel
  • TiO 2
  • Activated carbon
  • Photocatalysis
  • Adsorption
  • Hormones

document type



Many approaches have been investigated to eliminate pharmaceuticals in wastewater treatment plants during the last decades. However, a lack of sustainable and efficient solutions exists for the removal of hormones by advanced oxidation processes. The aim of this study was to synthesize and test new photoactive bio composites for the elimination of these molecules in wastewater effluents. The new materials were obtained from the activated carbon (AC) of Arganian spinosa tree nutshells and titanium tetrachloride by the sol gel method. SEM analysis allowed one to confirm the formation of TiO 2 particles homogeneously dispersed at the surface of AC with a controlled titanium dioxide mass ratio, a specific TiO 2 anatase structure, and a highly specific surface area, evidenced by ATG, XRD, and BET analysis, respectively. The obtained composites were revealed to quantitatively absorb carbamazepine (CBZ), which is used as a referred pharmaceutical, and leading to its total elimination after 40 min under irradiation with the most effective material. TiO 2 high content disfavors CBZ adsorption but improves its degradation. In the presence of the composite, three hormones (17α-ethinylestradiol, estrone, and β-estradiol) are partially adsorbed onto the composite and totally degraded after 60 min under UV light exposure. This study constitutes a promising solution for the efficient treatment of wastewater contaminated by hormones.

more information