Photocatalytic and non-catalytic removal of antibiotics from water bodies by 2D MXene/3D cryogel composites

Photocatalytic and non-catalytic removal of antibiotics from water bodies by 2D MXene/3D cryogel composites

IRN АР 09259907



Antibiotics are widely and increasingly used in human and veterinary medicine. Global consumption of antibiotics is increasing every year, both in hospitals and at home, raising serious concerns about their potential harmful effects on the environment and human health, including the development of antibiotic resistance. In addition, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, attention is focused on treating patients with coronavirus infection; however, it is important to highlight the fact that the pandemic has increased the use of other drugs such as antipyretics and antibiotics. They are used to treat millions of people infected with COVID-19. In this regard, a large number of patients simultaneously receive a large number of antibiotics, which are excreted either in an unchanged active form or in the form of metabolites, which can be further decomposed into numerous transformation products at water treatment plants or in the environment. Although pharmaceuticals are strictly regulated in terms of efficacy and safety for patients, their presence in the environment is not regulated or controlled by international agreements or conventions. Wastewater treatment plants are designed to remove biodegradable organic matter and nutrients. In Kazakhstan, neither hospital wastewater nor citywide wastewater entering wastewater treatment plants is monitored for antibiotics. Conventional wastewater treatment systems do not remove completely persistent organic compounds in low concentrations. Although there are potentially many ways to remove antibiotics, the use of these removal methods (coagulation, reverse osmosis and other membrane treatments, photodegradation, ultraviolet irradiation, or chemical oxidation) are not common because they involve high waste generation or high operating costs.

This paper proposes the development of macroporous polymers with a three-dimensional structure, modified with two-dimensional MXene based on Ti3C2 for photocatalytic and non-catalytic removal of antibiotics from water.


The project aims to develop new composites based on macroporous cryogels and MXene from titanium carbide to effectively remove common antibiotics from model and urban wastewater. The composites will be engineered to have nano- to macroscale pore structures, individualized functional groups on the surface, and photocatalytic properties.

Expected and achieved results

As a final result of the project, it is planned to obtain a composite material based on cryogel and MXene, fully characterized by modern physicochemical methods of analysis, with a known porous structure, mechanical strength and the presence of various functional groups that effectively remove the selected antibiotics. from model and urban wastewater.

Cooperation with foreign universities will expand the existing range of knowledge in the field of composite materials and obtain new materials. International exchange will enable young scientists to expand their experience and knowledge in the field of advanced design and material characterization.

It is planned to publish at least 2 publications in international scientific journals indexed in the Q1 / Q2 quartiles of Web of Science or Scopus (percentile over 65), since the group members have experience in publications in high-ranking journals. It is planned to file an application with the Kazakhstan Patent Office for patenting methods for the synthesis of composite materials. The results of the work will be reported at international and local conferences, in peer-reviewed domestic and foreign journals, which will contribute to the dissemination of information among potential users and the scientific community, and information for the general public will be provided through television. radio and advertising in medical institutions and at water treatment plants.

The results of research and the use of synthesized composites in water purification from antibiotics are of great socio-economic and environmental importance. Since the presence of antibiotics in wastewater and their possible negative impact on the health of the civilian population has not been studied in detail, the removal of such contaminants is fundamentally important to preserve the health of the nation. In addition, the presence of pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics in wastewater can increase the resistance of harmful bacteria and viruses to these drugs, which will also affect the health of citizens and the environment. The program will create preconditions for increasing the competitiveness of the economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan through the use of its own scientific personnel, natural and material and technical resources.

During the first year of the project, 5 types of macroporous cryogels and 1 type of cryogel / MXene composite were synthesized. The resulting materials were fully characterized using modern instruments and techniques such as SEM / EDS, TEM / EDS; XRD, FT-IR and Zeta Potential.

The results of the project for the current year were presented at the International Symposium “Combustion and Plasma Chemistry. Physics and chemistry of carbon and nanoenergy materials ", October 12-13, 2021, Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan and published in the conference thesis" Baimenov A. Zh., Daulbayev Ch. B., Megbenu H.K. and Poulopoulos S. G. Synthesis and characterization of macroporous 2D MXene / 3D cryogel composites // Conference book of XII International Symposium “Combustion and Plasmochemistry. Physics and Chemistry of Carbon and Nano energy Materials ””

Research team members

1) Альжан Байменов (Alzhan Baimenov)

Scopus Author ID: 57188971746

ORCID: 0000-0002-6509-2087
Web of Science ResearcherID AAS-2052-2020

2) Ставрос Полополос (Stavros Poulopoulos)

Scopus Author ID: 6602744010


Web of Science ResearcherID J-7386-2019

3)Чингис Даулбаев (Chingis Daulbayev)

Scopus Author ID: 57194082645

ORCID: 0000-0002-7860-7799

ResearcherID: 57194082645 

  • Сауле Мергенбаева (Saule Mergenbayeva)

Scopus author ID: 57330944900

ORCID: 0000-0002-3110-5396


  • Гарри Кваку Мегбену (Harry Kwaku Megbenu)

Scopus author ID: 57219385387

ORCID: 0000-0001-9144-5950

Web of Science ResearcherID: ABE-9556-2021

  • Алишер Кумаров

ORCID: 0000-0002-5455-3175