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Treatment of paper mill effluent via electrochemical reaction and assessment of antibacterial activity of ZnO nanoparticles in in-vitro conditions

Khanindra Sharma, Madhurankhi Goswami, Mohammed Shadab, Neelotpal Sen Sarma, and Arundhuti Devi

Environmental Chemistry Laboratory, Resource Management and Environment Section, Life Sciences Division, Institute of Advanced Study in Science and Technology, Guwahati, India



Received: 26 November 2020  Accepted: 17 March 2021


A simple electrochemical approach has been strategically developed for in situ generations of ZnO nanoparticles using Zn rods as electrodes and hydrogen peroxide as the oxidant without the formation of any by-product. These ZnO nanoparticles were extended for remediation of pollutants present in paper mill effluents, and separation efficiency was found to be above 90% for hydrocarbons, 92% for lignin, 99% for phenol, and 93% of chemical oxygen demand (COD), as confirmed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and COD analysis. It was also observed that the experimental setup could successfully remove 99% of the color from the sample. These ZnO nanoparticles have been proven in the past to be antibacterial and were explored for its ability to inhibit the growth of both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria in the effluent samples after the removal of toxic pollutants. Therefore, we proposed an electrochemical reaction for the in situ synthesis of ZnO nanoparticles for remediation of paper mill effluent as well as inhibit the bacterial growth in the treated effluent sample.

Keywords: Antibacterial activity; Electrochemical reaction; Paper mill effluent; ZnO nanoparticle

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-021-01612-z


Chemical Papers 75 (8) 3921–3929 (2021)

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