This work deals with the preparation of novel photocatalysts based on the assembly of ZnO nanoparticles on the surface of sepiolite (Sep) fibrous clay mineral, which can be previously modified by treatment with cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, tetramethoxyortosilicate or magnetite (Fe3O4) nanoparticles. The structural and morphological features of the prepared samples were characterized by diverse experimental techniques. The photoactivity of the resulting materials has been tested under solar light irradiation for the degradation of emerging pollutants, such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen and antipyrine. The resulting ZnO/Sep heterostructure exhibits enhanced photocatalytic performance compared to ZnO/SiO2-Sep and ZnO/Fe3O4-Sep materials. Ibuprofen showed higher degradation rates than the other target compounds. Of particular interest is the use of ZnO/Fe3O4-Sep photocatalyst, which shows the simultaneous features of superparamagnetic character and photocatalytic activity, allowing its easy recovery by application of an external magnetic field which improves its reusability.
Applied Clay Science – Elsevier
Published: May 1, 2018
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