The detoxification of heavy metals from aqueous environment using nano-photocatalysis approach: a review

Abstract

Heavy metals are discharged into aquatic environment and causes serious problems to the environment, human’s health, and other organisms. The industrial effluents contain high concentration of heavy metals that should be treated by different technologies. Numerous technologies have been widely used for the remediation of heavy metals such as chemical precipitation, ion exchange, membrane filtration, adsorption, coagulation-flocculation, floatation, electrochemical treatment, bioremediation, and photocatalysis. Among these technologies, photocatalysis has gained much attention due to chemical, physical, and electrical properties of heterogeneous semiconductor nano-photocatalysis. Bismuth vanadate is an n-type semiconductor photocatalyst having 2.4 eV band gap that was widely used from several decades having three monoclinic, tetragonal, and tetragonal zircon structures, but it also have some limitation that can be overcome by modification with metals or non-metals to gain high removal efficiency of heavy metals. This modification can tune its photocatalytic properties like band gap, absorption capacity, and surface area resulting in high photocatalytic performance towards heavy metals detoxification.

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Correspondence to Muhammad Bilal Tahir.

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Tahir, M.B., Kiran, H. & Iqbal, T. The detoxification of heavy metals from aqueous environment using nano-photocatalysis approach: a review. Environ Sci Pollut Res 26, 10515–10528 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-019-04547-x

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Keywords

  • Heavy metals’ remediation
  • Treatment technologies
  • Photocatalysis
  • Nanomaterials