Bimodal N-doped P25-TiO2/AC composite: Preparation, characterization, physical stability, and synergistic adsorptive-solar photocatalytic removal of sulfamethazine
A novel nitrogen-doped P25-TiO2 of bimodal structure with activated carbon supported (N-P25-TiO2/AC) was synthesized via the modified sol–gel techniques. Besides adding urea as N-source, the N-doping could also be induced through calcination under mixed NH3/N2 atmosphere. The composite was characterized using XRD, porosimetry, UV–vis spectrophotometry, FTIR, XPS, SEM/EDX and TEM. The physical stability of the composite was examined through ultrasonication disruption, and the composite exhibited good physical stability. The synergistic effects of the adsorption-solar photocatalysis of sulfamethazine (SMZ) as exhibited by the composites were examined. The best performing bimodal composite was N-P25-TiO2 (25 + 10)/AC, which comprised 25% of N-P25 and 10% N-TiO2 (sol) by weight composition (wt%). The maximum adsorption capacity (Smax) for the N-P25-TiO2 (25 + 10)/AC, at pH 3.0, 6.0 and 10.0 was 183 ± 3, 194 ± 3, and 103 ± 2 mg g−1, respectively. The effects of the total loading of N-doped titania, sol–gel synthesis technique, weight distribution of N-P25 and N-TiO2 (sol), composite dosage, light wavelength spectrum and solution pH on the photocatalytic degradation (PCD) of SMZ were investigated. The N-P25-TiO2 (25 + 10)/AC composite exhibited enhanced PCD efficiency under solar irradiation with a pseudo first-order rate constant (kapp) of 0.48 h−1, as compared to other types of bimodal composites because its higher N-P25 content led to a greater photocatalytic activity.
Graphical abstractFigure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload high-quality image (195 K)Download as PowerPoint slideHighlights► Bimodal composite was prepared via combined N-P25 and N-TiO2 (sol). ► AC support served to maintain anatase–rutile phase at high calcination temperature. ► Physical stability of the composite was examined via ultrasonication disruption. ► Photocatalytic effect could be governed by weight distribution of bimodal titania. ► Photocatalytic kinetics was mainly ascribed to N-P25 and anatase–rutile mixture.
Journal: Applied Catalysis A: General - Volumes 427–428, 15 June 2012, Pages 125–136