Tailored routes for home-made Bi-doped ZnO nanoparticles. Photocatalytic performances towards o-toluidine, a toxic water pollutant

S. Mostoni, V. Pifferi, L. Falciola, D. Meroni, E. Pargoletti, E. Davoli, G. Cappelletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Herein we report the photodegradation of highly toxic o-toluidine in aqueous media (under UV irradiation), by using home-made bare and bismuth-doped ZnO nanoparticles. The latter powder was prepared by both a traditional impregnation method and by an innovative sol-gel synthesis, obtained using bismuth nitrate as precursor. Moreover, synthetic conditions (such as zinc salts and medium acidity) were varied in order to obtain different semiconductor nanopowders with diverse physico-chemical properties and, hence, photocatalytic performances. Both the disappearance and the mineralization of the pollutant molecule were followed by Linear Sweep Voltammetry and Total Organic Carbon techniques, respectively. Photocatalysis by-products were then identified by HPLC–MS (on eluates, after 3 h and 6 h) and ATR-FTIR (on used nanopowders) analyses. Thus, a new photodegradation pathway (with azo dimer derivatives in the first step) has been proposed. Bi-impregnated samples show high degree of mineralization, reducing the stability of the intermediates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)534-545
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry
Volume332
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Bismuth doping
  • o-Toluidine
  • Photodegradation mechanism
  • Photoremoval
  • Zinc oxide nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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