Environmental science and pollution research international

Photocatalytic behaviour of WO3/TiO2-N for diclofenac degradation using simulated solar radiation as an activation source.

PMID 27966080


In this study, the photocatalytic removal of an emerging contaminant, diclofenac (DCF) sodium, was performed using the nitrogen-doped WO3/TiO2-coupled oxide catalyst (WO3/TiO2-N). The catalyst synthesis was accomplished by a sol-gel method using tetrabutyl orthotitanate (C16H36O4Ti), ammonium p-tungstate [(NH4)10H2W12O42·4H2O] and ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) as the nitrogen source. For comparison, TiO2 and WO3/TiO2 were also prepared under similar conditions. Analysis by X-ray diffraction (XRD), N2 adsorption-desorption, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), diffuse reflectance UV-Vis spectroscopy (DRS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) were conducted to characterize the synthesized materials. The photocatalytic efficiency of the semiconductors was determined in a batch reactor irradiated with simulated solar light. Residual and mineralized DCF were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography, total organic carbon analysis and ion exchange chromatography. The results indicated that the tungsten atoms were dispersed on the surface of TiO2 as WO3. The partial substitution of oxygen by nitrogen atoms into the lattice of TiO2 was an important factor to improve the photocatalytic efficiency of WO3/TiO2. Therefore, the best photocatalytic activity was obtained with the WO3/TiO2-N0.18 catalyst, reaching 100% DCF transformation at 250xa0kJxa0m(-2) and complete mineralization at 400xa0kJxa0m(-2) of solar-accumulated energy.

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