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Effective Elimination Of Contaminant Antibiotics Using High-Surface-Area Magnetic-Functionalized Graphene Nanocomposites Developed From Plastic Waste

Noha A. Elessawy, M. H. Gouda, Safaa M. Ali, M. Salerno, M. S. Mohy Eldin

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The presence of pharmaceutical residues in aquatic environments represents a risk for the equilibrium of the ecosystem and may seriously affect human safety itself in the long term. To address this issue, we have synthesized functional materials based on highly-reduced graphene oxide (HRGO), sulfonated graphene (SG), and magnetic sulfonated graphene (MSG). The method of synthesis adopted is simple and inexpensive and makes use of plastic bottle waste as the raw material. We have tested the fabricated materials for their adsorption efficiency against two model antibiotics in aqueous solutions, namely Garamycin and Ampicillin. Our tests involved the optimization of different experimental parameters of the adsorption process, such as starting antibiotic concentration, amount of adsorbent, and time. Finally, we characterized the effect of the antibiotic adsorption process on common living organisms, namely Escherichia coli DH5α (E. coli DH5α) bacteria. The results obtained demonstrate the efficiency of the method in addressing the issue of the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which will help in preventing changes in the ecosystem.