Zinc tungstate (ZnWO 4 ) was previously used as a photocatalyst. In this paper, for the first time as an sonocatalyst, the performance of ZnWO 4 for sonocatalytic degradation of meloxicam (MEL) under ultrasonic irradiation were studied. Firstly, ZnWO 4 nanomaterials were synthesized at different acidity (pH = 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) via the hydrothermal method. Utilizing SEM, XRD and EDS techniques to characterize composition and morphology of each product, the same crystal forms, but different morphologies (nano-sheet, nano-microspheres or nano-rod) of ZnWO 4 could be obtained. Secondly, the sonocatalytic activities of ZnWO 4 on degradation of MEL were studied. It was found that the degradation ratio varied with the synthetic pH values, with ZnWO 4 under synthetic pH = 6 exhibiting the best sonocatalytic performance (75.7%). Whilebeing synthesized at this pH value, ZnWO 4 nano-microspheres had the largest BET surface area (27.068 m 2 /g), the smallest particle size (40–60 nm) so as to provide more active sites on its surface, which were able to produce more reactive oxygen species (ROS) and holes under ultrasonic irradiation. These ROS and holes had a positive effect on the degradation of MEL into CO 2 , H 2 O and inorganic. Thirdly, various influential factors including ultrasonic power intensity, ultrasonic time, catalyst addition dosage, initial concentration of MEL solution and reusability of catalyst were also explored. Under the condition of 10 mg/L MEL concentration, 20 mg catalyst dosage, 120 min irradiation time, 0.278 W/cm 2 ultrasonic power intensity, the degradation ratio on MEL reached 75.7%. Finally, the presence of hydroxyl radical (OH) and singlet molecular oxygen ( 1 O 2 ) in the reaction was confirmed by adding ROS scavenger. The experimental results suggested that ZnWO 4 nanoparticle could be used not only as an effective photocatalyst, but also, under the condition of ultrasonic irradiation, a promising sonocatalyst for degradation of organic pollutants in aqueous media.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.