Enhanced photocatalytic activity using GO/TiO2 catalyst for the removal of DCA solutions
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This work aimed to optimize high-performance photocatalysts based on graphene oxide/titanium dioxide (GO/TiO2) nanocomposites for the effective degradation of aqueous pollutants. The catalytic activity was tested against the degradation of dichloroacetic acid (DCA), a by-product of disinfection processes that is present in many industrial wastewaters and effluents. GO/TiO2 photocatalysts were prepared using three different methods, hydrothermal, solvothermal, and mechanical, and varying the GO/TiO2 ratio in the range of 1 to 10%. Several techniques were applied to characterize the catalysts, and better coupling of GO and TiO2 was observed in the thermally synthesized composites. Although the results obtained for DCA degradation showed a coupled influence of the composite preparation method and its composition, promising results were obtained with the photocatalysts compared to the limited activity of conventional TiO2. In the best case, corresponding to the composite synthesized via hydrothermal method with 5% of GO/TiO2 weight ratio, an enhancement of 2.5 times of the photocatalytic degradation yield of DCA was obtained compared to bare TiO2, thus opening more efficient ways to promote the application of photocatalytic remediation technologies.
KeywordsDichloroacetic acid Graphene oxide Titanium dioxide Photocatalytic activity Pollutants removal Advanced oxidation process
Financial support from projects CTM2015-69845-R and CTQ2015-66078-R (MINECO/FEDER, UE) are gratefully acknowledged. Paula Ribao also thanks the University of Cantabria for a research grant. The authors wish to thank Professor Jesús Antonio González of Department CITIMAC of the University of Cantabria for assistance with Raman spectra measurements. The authors also thank the Centro Tecnológico de Componentes (CTC) for AFM images.
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