Removal of carbamazepine from water by a novel TiO2-coconut shell powder/UV process: Composite preparation and photocatalytic activity

Majeda Khraisheh*, Jongkyu Kim, Luiza Campos, Ala'a H. Al-Muhtaseb, Gavin M. Walker, Mohammad Alghouti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


A novel TiO2-coconut shell powder (TCNSP) composite, prepared by the controlled sol-gel method with a subsequent heat treatment, was investigated as an innovative photocatalytic absorbent for the removal of carbamazepine (CBZ). CBZ is used worldwide as an antiepileptic drug, which has recently been recognized as an important organic pollutant increasingly found in wastewaters from urban areas and other aquatic environments. The granulation process was performed by using a semiautomated mass production line to produce sufficient quantities of TCNSP composites, possessing sufficient crush strength for commercialization. Physical properties of the TCNSP composite such as crystallinity, morphology, crush strength, and the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET)-specific surface area were controlled by the mass ratio of titanium dioxide sol and coconut shell powder (CNSP). Calcination at 700 C produced anatase phase TiO2 in the TCNSP composites with a BET high surface area of 454 m2/g. Anatase crystallite size of the TCNSP composite increased from 2.37 to 15.11 nm with increasing calcination temperature from 500 C to 800 C. Calcinated TCNSP composites had higher CBZ removal efficiency (98%) than pure TiO2 (23%) and CNSP (34%) within a 40-min reaction time. Optimization of this innovative adsorption/photocatalytic process was obtained by a response surface methodology and a central composite design model, which indicated that this novel and sustainable technology was successful in removing CBZ from a solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-526
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2013


  • TiO-coconut shell powder composite
  • drug
  • granulation
  • photocatalytic degradation
  • semiautomated mass production line

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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