Removal of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and antibiotic resistance bacteria (ARBs)

According to the latest report of the United Nations (UN), at least 700,000 people die each year due to drug-resistant diseases . Traditional biological wastewater treatment plants are not capable of degrading antibiotics, and thus contribute to the development of antibiotic resistance in the receiving water bodies. Due to their prevalence in the environment, antibiotics and antibiotic resistant genes (ARGs) are frequently detected in the treated drinking water worldwide.

Here, we apply graphene sponge electrodes doped with metals and metal oxides with antimicrobial potential such as Zn/ZnO to electrochemically inactivation persistent antibiotic resistant bacteria (ARB), as well as to degrade ARGs encountered in the bacteria and antibiotics.