Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 28, pp 27737–27747 | Cite as

Development of Fe/Nb-based solar photocatalysts for water treatment: impact of different synthesis routes on materials properties

  • Marília C. M. Ribeiro
  • Camila C. AmorimEmail author
  • Regina F. P. M. Moreira
  • Luiz C. A. Oliveira
  • Andréia B. Henriques
  • Mônica M. D. Leão
New Challenges in the Application of Advanced Oxidation Processes


Semiconductors based on Fe/Nb oxides can present both solar sensitivity and high catalytic activity. However, there is still a lack regarding the comparison between different routes to produce Fe/Nb-based solar photocatalysts and the evaluation of the impact of the synthesis operating conditions on the material properties. In this work, Fe/Nb2O5 ratio, type of precipitating agent, presence/absence of washing stage, and temperature of calcination were verified to be the most relevant parameters in the synthesis by the co-precipitation method. These factors led to remarkable differences in the properties and performance of the photocatalysts produced by each distinct synthesis route. Composition, iron species present in the materials, crystallinity characteristics, and pH of the catalysts were affected, leading to different photocatalytic activities under UV-Vis light. Due to their characteristics, the synthesized materials are potential photocatalysts for application in solar processes.

Graphical abstract


Iron Niobium Synthesis Characterization Solar photocatalysis 



The authors thank the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Department of Chemistry, and Microscopy Centre of UFMG for the analytical results and CBMM for granting the HY-340 sample. The authors also express their gratitude to Prof. Herman S. Mansur from the Center of Nanoscience, Nanotechnology and Innovation—CeNano2I/CEMUCASI/UFMG for the FTIR analysis.

Funding information

The authors acknowledge the Brazilian Funding Agencies CNPq, CAPES, and FAPEMIG for supporting this project and PRPq/UFMG for the financial support.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_2006_MOESM1_ESM.docx (448 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 448 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marília C. M. Ribeiro
    • 1
  • Camila C. Amorim
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Regina F. P. M. Moreira
    • 3
  • Luiz C. A. Oliveira
    • 4
  • Andréia B. Henriques
    • 5
  • Mônica M. D. Leão
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Sanitary Engineering, Research Group on Environmental Applications of Advanced Oxidation ProcessesUniversidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)Belo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais - Escola de EngenhariaBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Chemical and Food EngineeringUniversidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC)FlorianópolisBrazil
  4. 4.Department of Chemistry, ICExUniversidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)Belo HorizonteBrazil
  5. 5.Department of Mining EngineeringUniversidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)Belo HorizonteBrazil

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