Photocatalytic, sonocatalytic and sonophotocatalytic degradation of Rhodamine B using ZnO/CNTs composites photocatalysts

Ahmad, M., Ahmed, E., Hong, Z.L., Ahmed, Waqar orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-4152-5172, Elhissi, Adbelbary and Khalid, N.R. (2014) Photocatalytic, sonocatalytic and sonophotocatalytic degradation of Rhodamine B using ZnO/CNTs composites photocatalysts. Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 21 (2). pp. 761-773. ISSN 1350-4177

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A series of ZnO nanoparticles decorated on multi-walled carbon nanotubes (ZnO/CNTs composites) was synthesized using a facile sol method. The intrinsic characteristics of as-prepared nanocomposites were studied using a variety of techniques including powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), high resolution transmission electron microscope (HR-TEM), transmission electron microscope (TEM), scanning electron microscope (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX), Brunauer Emmett Teller (BET) surface area analyzer and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Optical properties studied using UV–Vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy confirmed that the absorbance of ZnO increased in the visible-light region with the incorporation of CNTs. In this study, degradation of Rhodamine B (RhB) as a dye pollutant was investigated in the presence of pristine ZnO nanoparticles and ZnO/CNTs composites using photocatalysis and sonocatalysis systems separately and simultaneously. The adsorption was found to be an essential factor in the degradation of the dye. The linear transform of the Langmuir isotherm curve was further used to determine the characteristic parameters for ZnO and ZCC-5 samples which were: maximum absorbable dye quantity and adsorption equilibrium constant. The natural sunlight and low power ultrasound were used as an irradiation source. The experimental kinetic data followed the pseudo-first order model in photocatalytic, sonocatalytic and sonophotocatalytic processes but the rate constant of sonophotocatalysis is higher than the sum of it at photocatalysis and sonocatalysis process. The sonophotocatalysis was always faster than the respective individual processes due to the more formation of reactive radicals as well as the increase of the active surface area of ZnO/CNTs photocatalyst. Chemical oxygen demand (COD)
of textile wastewater was measured at regular intervals to evaluate the mineralization of wastewater.

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