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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Natural Silicates Encapsulated Enzymes as Green Biocatalysts for Degradation of Pharmaceuticals

Vardanyan, Ani; Agback, Tatiana; Golovko, Oksana; Dietre, Quentin; Seisenbaeva, Gulaim A.


Biocatalytic degradation with the use of enzymes has gained great attention in the past few years due to its advantages of high efficiency and environmental friendliness. Novel, cost-effective, and green nanoadsorbents were produced in this study, using natural silicates as an enzyme host matrix for core-shell immobilization technique. With the natural silicate as a core and silica layer as a shell, it was possible to encapsulate two different enzymes: horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and laccase, for removal and degradation of three pharmaceuticals: diclofenac (DFC), carbamazepine (CBZ), and paracetamol (PC). The biocatalysts demonstrated high oxidation rates for the selected pollutants. In particular HRP immobilized fly ash and perlite degraded DFC and PC completely during 3 days of interaction and also showed high degradation rates for CBZ. Immobilized laccase was successful in PC degradation, where up to 70-80% degradation of the compounds with aromatic rings was reported by NMR measurements for a high drug concentration of 10 mu g/mL. The immobilization method played a significant role in this process by providing stability and protection for the enzymes over 3 weeks. Furthermore, the enzymes acted differently in the three chosen supports due to their complex chemical composition, which could have an effect on the overall enzyme activity.


sol-gel; enzyme catalysis; silicates; immobilization; enzymatic degradation

Published in

ACS ES&T water
2024, Volume: 4, number: 2, pages: 751-760