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Sunlight induced removal of Rhodamine B from water through Semiconductor Photocatalysis: Effects of Adsorption, Reaction Conditions and Additives

Author Affiliations

  • 1 School of Environmental Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi, INDIA

Res. J. Material Sci., Volume 1, Issue (4), Pages 9-17, May,16 (2013)


Application of Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOP) for the removal of toxic pollutants from water has been receiving increasing attention in recent times. Photocatalysis using semiconductor oxides is one such AOP which is being investigated extensively for the degradation of dyes in effluent water. This paper reports our findings on the sunlight induced photocatalytic removal of the hazardous xanthene dye Rhodamine B from water, mediated by TiO2 and ‘platinum deposited TiO’ (Pt/TiO).Unlike in the case of photocatalytic degradation of many organic pollutants which are driven by UV light, Rhodamine B can be removed in presence of TiO even by visible light. Pt/TiO is ~5 times more active than TiO alone for the solar photocatalytic degradation of the dye, which is attributed to extension of the absorption of light to the visible range and retardation of the recombination of photogenerated electrons and holes. The dye itself can absorb visible light and act as a photo sensitizer to activate TiO. The effects of various parameters such as catalyst loading, concentration of the dye, pH, Pt concentration in Pt/TiO, externallyadded etc on the adsorption and /or degradation of the dye are evaluated. The degradation of the dye proceeds through intermediates and complete removal of Total Organic Carbon (TOC) is achieved many hours after the decolorisation of the dye. The rate of degradation decreases beyond a critical concentration of the dye, possibly due to reduction in the path length of photons in deeply colored solution. The higher degradation in alkaline pH is explained in terms of the ionization state of the catalyst surface and the enhanced adsorption facilitated by the electrostatic attraction between the negatively charged catalyst surface and the zwitter ionic form of the dye. H, upto a critical concentration, accelerates the degradation. The observations are critically analysed and suitable mechanism for the photocatalytic mineralisation of RhB is proposed.


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