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Harnessing the Power of Microwave for Inactivating Pseudomonas aeruginosa with Nanohybrids

Abstract

Due to the position of microwave (MW) radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum, it has not yet been successfully utilized to inactivate waterborne microorganisms at a reasonable (energy) cost. Exceptional properties at the nano-scale, namely MW absorption-abilities of carbon nanotubes and excellent spectral conversion-capabilities of lanthanide series metal oxides in concert, hold promise to overcome the energetic barrier of this widely used and affordable technology. This study reports synthesis of a nano-heterostructure that combines carbon nanotubes’ and erbium oxides’ properties to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inactivate Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Detailed characterization of the synthesized nanohybrid (NH) material with electron microscopy, X-ray techniques, and thermal gravimetric analysis confirms effective hybridization. At least one log unit of microbial inactivation was achieved via ROS generation with only 20 s of MW irradiation at 110 W (0.0006 kW∙h energy use), using a conventional MW oven. Inactivation studies with ROS scavenger molecules prove that generated oxygen species played the dominant role in bacterial inactivation. These breakthrough results hold promise to enable an unintended use (i.e., disinfection) of MW technology, which is diffused deep into the global societal fabric.

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Aug 2017, accepted on 09 Nov 2017 and first published on 09 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7EN00702G
Citation: Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Harnessing the Power of Microwave for Inactivating Pseudomonas aeruginosa with Nanohybrids

    J. Plazas-Tuttle, D. Das, I. V. Sabaraya and N. B. Saleh, Environ. Sci.: Nano, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7EN00702G

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