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Photocatalytic Degradation of Methylorange Using TiO2, WO3 and Mixed Thin Films Under Controlled pH and H2O2

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Wastewaters resulting from textile industry sector have a different chemistry compared with most of the other wastewaters. The different dyes in excess are usually very stable and even small quantities can have a major impact to the effluent. In order to treat these wastewaters, photodegradation is a largely investigated process that can be up-scaled. Photocatalysts based on wide band gap semiconductors can be used in heterogeneous photocatalysis and mostly reported are TiO2 and WO3. Under UV irradiation they form electron–hole pairs that produce active species that can oxidize the dye molecules. The electron–hole recombination represents the main cause for low efficiencies and is limited by the use of oxidant systems like H2O2. Doctor blade technique, a reproducible, up-scalable and low cost technique was used to obtain thin films. The reference dye, used in this experiment is methylorange in solution of 0.0125 mM, corresponding to average polluted water. In order to reduce the recombination in the catalysts, H2O2 is used. Another important aspect of the dye photocatalysis process, investigated in the paper is the adsorption of the dye molecule on the photocatalyst surface, strongly depending on pH which affects the dye's structure and the surface charge. Experiments are conducted at fixed pH values: 3, and respectively 7 covering values below and over the ZPC of the photocatalysts. The results show that TiO2/WO3 films have higher efficiency then the TiO2 and WO3 films, mainly due to the surface morphology of the films. By adding H2O2, higher efficiencies are obtained, confirming that the electron–hole pair recombination is reduced. From the point of view of pH, higher efficiencies are obtained in acidic solutions and the results are comparatively discussed considering the dye's ionic/neutral structure and the photocatalyst surface charge. The efficiency was calculated using UV-VIS spectrophotometer measurements of the solution and the thin films were characterized by AFM and XRD.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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