Selective performance of sol-gel synthesised titanium dioxide photocatalysts in aqueous oxidation of various-type organic pollutants
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Photocatalysts synthesized by sol-gel method inevitably incorporate carbon together with dopants. The objective of the research consists in the synthesis and testing of photocatalytic activity of carbon-containing titanium dioxide photocatalysts calcinated at various temperatures. The optical and structural properties of the catalysts were also studied. The activity was tested in visible light in aqueous photocatalytic oxidation of three various-type pollutants, methyl-tert-butyl ether, p-toluidine and phenol, where the divergent character of the C-TiO2 catalysts was distinctively observed: methyl-tert-butyl ether and p-toluidine were oxidized with the efficiency close to or even surpassing that of UV-irradiated P25 (Evonik), whereas phenol was oxidized poorly. The observed photocatalytic activity, where quantum efficiency varied from 0.6 to 2.3 and from 0.1 to 1.2% for p-toluidine and phenol degradation respectively, may be explained by the different electrostatic properties of the catalysts’ surface and the tested substances, i.e. their interaction. This compromises the widespread usage of phenol as a reference substance for comparison of catalytic activities of catalysts.
KeywordsTiO2 doping visible light photocatalysis methyl-tert-butyl ether p-toluidine phenol
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