In this study we used TiO2 nanoparticles as semiconductor photocatalysts for the degradation of Methyl Orange (MO) and Congo Red (CR) dyes in an aqueous solution. Since TiO2 particles become photocatalytically active by UV radiation, two sources of UV-A radiation were used – natural solar radiation which contains 3–5% UV-A and artificial, solar-like radiation, created by using a lamp.The optimal doses of TiO2 of 500 mg/L for the CR and 1500 mg/L for the MO degradation were determined in experiments with the lamp and were also used in degradation experiments with natural solar light. The efficiency of each process was determined by measuring the absorbance at two visible wavelengths, 466 nm for MO and 498 nm for CR, and the total organic carbon (TOC), i.e. decolorization and mineralization, respectively. In both cases, considerable potential for the degradation of CR and MO was observed – total decolorization of the solution was achieved within 30–60 min, while the TOC removal was in the range 60–90%. CR and MO solutions irradiated without TiO2 nanoparticles showed no observable changes in either decolorization or mineralization.Three different commercially available TiO2 nanoparticles were used: pure-phase anatase, pure-phase rutile, and mixed-phase preparation named Degussa P25. In terms of degradation kinetics, P25 TiO2 exhibited a photocatalytic activity superior to that of pure-phase anatase or rutile.The electric energy consumption per gram of removed TOC was determined. For nearly the same degradation effect, the consumption in the natural solar radiation experiment was more than 60 times lower than in the artificial solar-like radiation experiment.
Journal of Environmental Management – Elsevier
Published: Sep 15, 2015
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