TiO2-SnS2 nanocomposites: solar-active photocatalytic materials for water treatment
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The study is aimed at evaluating TiO2-SnS2 composites as effective solar-active photocatalysts for water treatment. Two strategies for the preparation of TiO2-SnS2 composites were examined: (i) in-situ chemical synthesis followed by immobilization on glass plates and (ii) binding of two components (TiO2 and SnS2) within the immobilization step. The as-prepared TiO2-SnS2 composites and their sole components (TiO2 or SnS2) were inspected for composition, crystallinity, and morphology using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDX) analyses. Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) was used to determine band gaps of immobilized TiO2-SnS2 and to establish the changes in comparison to respective sole components. The activity of immobilized TiO2-SnS2 composites was tested for the removal of diclofenac (DCF) in aqueous solution under simulated solar irradiation and compared with that of single component photocatalysts. In situ chemical synthesis yielded materials of high crystallinity, while their morphology and composition strongly depended on synthesis conditions applied. TiO2-SnS2 composites exhibited higher activity toward DCF removal and conversion in comparison to their sole components at acidic pH, while only in situ synthesized TiO2-SnS2 composites showed higher activity at neutral pH.
KeywordsSolar photocatalysis TiO2-SnS2 nanocomposites Thin films Water treatment Diclofenac
We acknowledge the financial support from the Croatian Science Foundation (Project UIP-11-2013-7900; Environmental Implications of the Application of Nanomaterials in Water Purification Technologies (NanoWaP)) and Slovenian Research Agency.
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