AgBr/diatomite for the efficient visible-light-driven photocatalytic degradation of Rhodamine B

  • Jing Fang
  • Huamei Zhao
  • Qinglei Liu
  • Wang Zhang
  • Jiajun Gu
  • Yishi Su
  • Waseem Abbas
  • Huilan Su
  • Zhengwei You
  • Di Zhang
Research Paper


The treatment of organic pollution via photocatalysis has been investigated for a few decades. However, earth-abundant, cheap, stable, and efficient substrates are still to be developed. Here, we prepare an efficient visible-light-driven photocatalyst via the deposition of Ag nanoparticles (< 60 nm) on diatomite and the conversion of Ag to AgBr nanoparticles (< 600 nm). Experimental results show that 95% of Rhodamine B could be removed within 20 min, and the degradation rate constant (κ) is 0.11 min−1 under 100 mW/cm2 light intensity. For comparison, AgBr/SiO2 (κ = 0.04 min−1) and commercial AgBr nanoparticles (κ = 0.05 min−1) were measured as well. The experimental results reveal that diatomite acted more than a substrate benefiting the dispersion of AgBr nanoparticles, as well as a cooperator to help harvest visible light and adsorb dye molecules, leading to the efficient visible-light-driven photocatalytic performance of AgBr/diatomite. Considering the low cost ($10 per ton) and large-scale availability of diatomite, our study provides the possibility to prepare other types of diatomite-based efficient photocatalytic composites with low-cost but excellent photocatalytic performance.


Visible-light-driven photocatalysis Diatomite AgBr Dye degradation Organic pollution Mitigation 



J. J. G. thanks the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University, Ministry of Education, China.

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51672175, 51271116, and 51572169), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, 2012CB619600), the Shanghai Science and Technology Committee (16520710900, 14JC1403300, 15ZR1422400, and 14520710100), and the opening project of the State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix Composites in Shanghai Jiao Tong University (No. mmc-kf15-08).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.

Supplementary material

11051_2018_4151_MOESM1_ESM.doc (734 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 734 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Metal Matrix CompositesShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Materials Science and EngineeringDonghua UniversityShanghaiChina

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