Solar Photocatalytic Degradation of 4-Chlorophenol in Water with Novel Shell-Core P3HT@TiO2 Nanoparticles


Shell-core poly 3-hexylthiophene (P3HT)@TiO2 nanoparticles were synthesized by a physical deposition method using tetrahydrofuran (THF) as a solvent of P3HT in a P-25 TiO2/THF suspension. The P3HT@TiO2 nanoparticles were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), X-ray Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), UV/VIS Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy (UV/VIS DRS), and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The spectrum of UV/VIS DRS showed that the P3HT@TiO2 nanoparticles are more responsive to visible light and 1% of the P3HT content of P3HT@TiO2 nanoparticles could increase the absorption up to 75% in the band of visible light. 4-chlorophenol (4-CP) was used as the target pollutant in aqueous media to assess the solar photocatalytic activities of the P3HT@TiO2 nanoparticles. Response surface methodology (RSM) with a 3*3 experimental design of Box-Behnken was applied to investigate the effect of critical process parameters ([catalyst], P3HT content, composites catalyst percentage) on treatment performance in terms of 4-CP degradation efficiency. It was found that the optimized reaction conditions were established as a photocatalyst dosage of 1.0 g/L, a P3HT of 0.5% in P3HT@TiO2 and a 25% P3HT@TiO2 of total photocatalyst dosage for a 4-CP degradation efficiency of 95%. Under the optimized reaction conditions, the TOC mineralization efficiency of 4-CP wastewater increased 16.3% as compared to that of TiO2 process for a reaction time of 120 min. As a result, the introduction P3HT onto the surface of TiO2 could extend successfully the visible light photoresponse range of TiO2 and could effectively enhance TiO2 solar photoactivity.

Author Information
Wen-shiuh Kuo, National United University, Taiwan
Ren-You Zhang, National United University, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSEE2015
Stream: Environmental Sustainability and Environmental Management: Freshwater

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