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Materials 2014, 7(3), 1801-1813; doi:10.3390/ma7031801

Titania Nanotubes Grown on Carbon Fibers for Photocatalytic Decomposition of Gas-Phase Aromatic Pollutants

1
Department of Environmental Engineering, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 702-701, Korea
2
Department of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 November 2013 / Revised: 27 December 2013 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 4 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon Fibers)
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Abstract

This study aimed to prepare titania (TiO2) nanotube (TNT) arrays grown on un-activated carbon fibers (UCFs), with the application of different TiO2 loadings based on the coating-hydrothermal process, and to evaluate their photocatalytic activity for the degradation of sub-ppm levels of aromatic pollutants (benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and o-xylene (BTEX)) using a plug-flow photocatalytic reactor. The characteristics of the prepared photocatalysts were determined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray (EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV-visible absorption spectroscopy (UV-Vis) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses. Spectral analysis showed that the prepared photocatalysts were closely associated with the characteristics of one-dimensional nanostructured TiO2 nanotubes for TNTUCFs and spherical shapes for TiO2-coated UCF (TUCF). The photocatalytic activities of BTEX obtained from TNTUCFs were higher than those obtained from a reference photocatalyst, TUCF). Specifically, the average degradation efficiencies of BTEX observed for TNTUCF-10 were 81%, 97%, 99%, and 99%, respectively, while those observed for TUCF were 14%, 42%, 52%, and 79%, respectively. Moreover, the photocatalytic activities obtained for TNTUCFs suggested that the degradation efficiencies of BTEX varied with changes in TiO2 loadings, allowing for the optimization of TiO2 loading. Another important finding was that input concentrations and air flow rates could be important parameters for the treatment of BTEX, which should be considered for the optimization of TNTUCFs application. Taken together, TNTUCFs can be applied to effectively degrade sub-ppm levels of gas-phase aromatic pollutants through the optimization of operational conditions.
Keywords: titania loading; one-dimensional nanostructured; sub-ppm aromatic; BTEX titania loading; one-dimensional nanostructured; sub-ppm aromatic; BTEX
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Jo, W.-K.; Lee, J.Y.; Chun, H.-H. Titania Nanotubes Grown on Carbon Fibers for Photocatalytic Decomposition of Gas-Phase Aromatic Pollutants. Materials 2014, 7, 1801-1813.

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