|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 11|
A systematic study was conducted to explore the photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) into methanol on TiO2 loaded copper ferrite (CuFe2O4) photocatalyst under visible light irradiation. The phases and crystallite size of the photocatalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and it indicates CuFe2O4 as tetragonal phase incorporation with anatase TiO2 in CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. The XRD results confirmed the formation of spinel type tetragonal CuFe2O4 phases along with predominantly anatase phase of TiO2 in the CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. UV-Vis absorption spectrum suggested the formation of the hetero-junction with relatively lower band gap than that of TiO2. Photoluminescence (PL) technique was used to study the electron–hole (e−/h+) recombination process. PL spectra analysis confirmed the slow-down of the recombination of electron–hole (e−/h+) pairs in the CuFe2O4/TiO2 hetero-structure. The photocatalytic performance of CuFe2O4/TiO2 was evaluated based on the methanol yield with varying amount of TiO2 over CuFe2O4 (0.5:1, 1:1, and 2:1) and changing light intensity. The mechanism of the photocatalysis was proposed based on the fact that the predominant species of CO2 in aqueous phase were dissolved CO2 and HCO3- at pH ~5.9. It was evident that the CuFe2O4 could harvest the electrons under visible light irradiation, which could further be injected to the conduction band of TiO2 to increase the life time of the electron and facilitating the reactions of CO2 to methanol. The developed catalyst showed good recycle ability up to four cycles where the loss of activity was ~25%. Methanol was observed as the main product over CuFe2O4, but loading with TiO2 remarkably increased the methanol yield. Methanol yield over CuFe2O4/TiO2 was found to be about three times higher (651 μmol/gcat L) than that of CuFe2O4 photocatalyst. This occurs because the energy of the band excited electrons lies above the redox potentials of the reaction products CO2/CH3OH.
Organic compounds in wastewaters coming from textile and pharmaceutical industry generated multiple harmful effects on the environment and the human health. One of them is the methyl orange (MeO), an azoic dye considered to be a recalcitrant compound. The heterogeneous photocatalysis emerges as an alternative for treating this type of hazardous compounds, through the generation of OH radicals using radiation and a semiconductor oxide. According to the author’s knowledge, catalysts such as TiO2 doped with metals show high efficiency in degrading MeO; however, this presents economic limitations on industrial scale. Black sand can be considered as a naturally doped catalyst because in its structure is common to find compounds such as titanium, iron and aluminum oxides, also elements such as zircon, cadmium, manganese, etc. This study reports the photocatalytic activity of the mineral black sand used as semiconductor in the discoloration of MeO by oxidation and reduction photocatalytic techniques. For this, magnetic composites from the mineral were prepared (RM, M1, M2 and NM) and their activity were tested through MeO discoloration while TiO2 was used as reference. For the fractions, chemical, morphological and structural characterizations were performed using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray (SEM-EDX), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis. M2 fraction showed higher MeO discoloration (93%) in oxidation conditions at pH 2 and it could be due to the presence of ferric oxides. However, the best result to reduction process was using M1 fraction (20%) at pH 2, which contains a higher titanium percentage. In the first process, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was used as electron donor agent. According to the results, black sand mineral can be used as natural semiconductor in photocatalytic process. It could be considered as a photocatalyst precursor in such processes, due to its low cost and easy access.
In recent years, visible-light activated photocatalysis has become a major field of intense researches for the higher efficiency of solar energy utilizations. Many attempts have been made on the modification of wide band gap semiconductors, while more and more efforts emphasize on cost-effective synthesis of visible-light activated catalysts. In this work, BiOBr nanoplates with band gap of visible-light range are synthesized through a promising microwave solvothermal method. The treatment time period and temperature dependent BiOBr nanosheets of various particle sizes are investigated through SEM. BiOBr synthesized under the condition of 160°C for 60 mins shows the most uniform particle sizes around 311 nm and the highest surface-to-volume ratio on account of its smallest average particle sizes compared with others. It exhibits the best photocatalytic behavior among all samples in RhB degradation.
Thin ZnO films are deposited on glass substrates via sol–gel method and dip-coating. The films are prepared from zinc acetate dehydrate as a starting reagent. After that the as-prepared ZnO sol is aged for different periods (0, 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 30 days). Nanocrystalline thin films are deposited from various sols. The effect ZnO sols aging time on the structural and photocatalytic properties of the films is studied. The films surface is studied by Scanning Electron Microscopy. The effect of the aging time of the starting solution is studied in the photocatalytic degradation of Reactive Black 5 (RB5) by UV-vis spectroscopy. The experiments are conducted upon UV-light illumination and in complete darkness. The variation of the absorption spectra shows the degradation of RB5 dissolved in water, as a result of the reaction, occurring on the surface of the films and promoted by UV irradiation. The initial concentrations of dye (5, 10 and 20 ppm) and the effect of the aging time are varied during the experiments. The results show, that the increasing aging time of starting solution with respect to ZnO generally promotes photocatalytic activity. The thin films obtained from ZnO sol, which is aged 30 days have best photocatalytic degradation of the dye (97,22%) in comparison with the freshly prepared ones (65,92%). The samples and photocatalytic experimental results are reproducible. Nevertheless, all films exhibit a substantial activity in both UV light and darkness, which is promising for the development of new ZnO photocatalysts by sol-gel method.
Sol-gel method has been used to fabricate nanocomposite films on glass substrates composed halloysite clay mineral and nanocrystalline TiO2. The methodology for the synthesis involves a simple chemistry method utilized nonionic surfactant molecule as pore directing agent along with the acetic acid-based solgel route with the absence of water molecules. The thermal treatment of composite films at 450oC ensures elimination of organic material and lead to the formation of TiO2 nanoparticles onto the surface of the halloysite nanotubes. Microscopy techniques and porosimetry methods used in order to delineate the structural characteristics of the materials. The nanocomposite films produced have no cracks and active anatase crystal phase with small crystallite size were deposited on halloysite nanotubes. The photocatalytic properties for the new materials were examined for the decomposition of the Basic Blue 41 azo dye in solution. These, nanotechnology based composite films show high efficiency for dye’s discoloration in spite of different halloysite quantities and small amount of halloysite/TiO2 catalyst immobilized onto glass substrates. Moreover, we examined the modification of the halloysite/TiO2 films with silver particles in order to improve the photocatalytic properties of the films. Indeed, the presence of silver nanoparticles enhances the discoloration rate of the Basic Blue 41 compared to the efficiencies obtained for unmodified films.
Microfibrous palygorskite and tubular halloysite clay mineral combined with nanocrystalline TiO2 are incorporating in the preparation of nanocomposite films on glass substrates via sol-gel route at 450oC. The synthesis is employing nonionic surfactant molecule as pore directing agent along with acetic acid-based sol-gel route without addition of water molecules. Drying and thermal treatment of composite films ensure elimination of organic material lead to the formation of TiO2 nanoparticles homogeneously distributed on the palygorskite or halloysite surfaces. Nanocomposite films without cracks of active anatase crystal phase on palygorskite and halloysite surfaces are characterized by microscopy techniques, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and porosimetry methods in order to examine their structural properties.
The composite palygorskite-TiO2 and halloysite-TiO2 films with variable quantities of palygorskite and halloysite were tested as photocatalysts in the photo-oxidation of Basic Blue 41 azo dye in water. These nanocomposite films proved to be most promising photocatalysts and highly effective to dye’s decoloration in spite of small amount of palygorskite-TiO2 or halloysite-TiO2 catalyst immobilized onto glass substrates mainly due to the high surface area and uniform distribution of TiO2 on clay minerals avoiding aggregation.
The effect of carbon materials on TiO2 for the photocatalytic hydrogen gas production from water / alcohol mixtures was investigated. Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs), multi walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), carbon nanofiber (CNF), fullerene (FLN), graphite (GP), and graphite silica (GS) were used as co-catalysts by directly mixing with TiO2. Drastic synergy effects were found with increase in the amount of hydrogen gas by a factor of ca. 150 and 100 for SWNTs and GS with TiO2, respectively. Moreover, the increment factor of hydrogen production reached to 180, when the mixture of SWNTs and TiO2 were smashed in an agate mortar before photocatalytic reactions. The order of H2 gas production for these carbon materials was SWNTs > GS >> MWNTs > FLN > CNF > GP. To maximize the hydrogen production from SWNTs/TiO2, various parameters of experimental condition were changed. Also, a comparison between Pt/TiO2, SWNTs/TiO2 and GS/TiO2 was made for the amount of H2 gas production. Finally, the recyclability of SWNTs/TiO2or GS/TiO2 was tested.