Mesoporous anatase (TiO 2 ) was modified with silver (Ag) nanoparticles using a photoreduction method. Performance of the resulting TiO 2 –Ag nanocomposites for water purification was evaluated using degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB) and disinfection of Escherichia coli ( E. coli ) under ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. The composites with different Ag loadings were characterized using physical adsorption of nitrogen, X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and UV–Visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopic techniques. The results showed that metallic Ag nanoparticles were firmly immobilized on the TiO 2 surface, which improved electron-hole separation by forming the Schottky barrier at the TiO 2 –Ag interface. Photocatalytic degradation of RhB and inactivation of E. coli effectively occurred in an analogical trend. The deposited Ag slightly decreased adsorption of target pollutants, but greatly increased adsorption of molecular oxygen with the latter enhancing production of reactive oxygen species (ROSs) with concomitant increase in contaminant photodegradation. The optimal Ag loadings for RhB degradation and E. coli disinfection were 0.25 wt% and 2.0 wt%, respectively. The composite photocatalysts were stable and could be used repeatedly under UV irradiation.
Water Research – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2011
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