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Catalysts 2016, 6(6), 79; doi:10.3390/catal6060079

Advances in Magnetically Separable Photocatalysts: Smart, Recyclable Materials for Water Pollution Mitigation

Nanotechnology and Water Sustainability Research Unit, College of Science, Engineering and Technology, University of South Africa, Florida 1709, Johannesburg, South Africa
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Academic Editors: Dionysios (Dion) Demetriou Dionysiou, Giusy Lofrano, Polycarpos Falaras, Suresh C. Pillai, Adrián M.T. Silva and Xie Quan
Received: 16 April 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 18 May 2016 / Published: 20 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photocatalytic Wastewater Treatment)
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Abstract

Organic and inorganic compounds utilised at different stages of various industrial processes are lost into effluent water and eventually find their way into fresh water sources where they cause devastating effects on the ecosystem due to their stability, toxicity, and non-biodegradable nature. Semiconductor photocatalysis has been highlighted as a promising technology for the treatment of water laden with organic, inorganic, and microbial pollutants. However, these semiconductor photocatalysts are applied in powdered form, which makes separation and recycling after treatment extremely difficult. This not only leads to loss of the photocatalyst but also to secondary pollution by the photocatalyst particles. The introduction of various magnetic nanoparticles such as magnetite, maghemite, ferrites, etc. into the photocatalyst matrix has recently become an area of intense research because it allows for the easy separation of the photocatalyst from the treated water using an external magnetic field. Herein, we discuss the recent developments in terms of synthesis and photocatalytic properties of magnetically separable nanocomposites towards water treatment. The influence of the magnetic nanoparticles in the optical properties, charge transfer mechanism, and overall photocatalytic activity is deliberated based on selected results. We conclude the review by providing summary remarks on the successes of magnetic photocatalysts and present some of the future challenges regarding the exploitation of these materials in water treatment. View Full-Text
Keywords: magnetically separable; ferrites; recyclable photocatalysts; photocatalysis; nanocomposites magnetically separable; ferrites; recyclable photocatalysts; photocatalysis; nanocomposites
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Mamba, G.; Mishra, A. Advances in Magnetically Separable Photocatalysts: Smart, Recyclable Materials for Water Pollution Mitigation. Catalysts 2016, 6, 79.

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