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Polymers 2018, 10(9), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090940

Preparation of a PANI/ZnO Composite for Efficient Photocatalytic Degradation of Acid Blue

1
Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb, Marulićev trg 19, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2
Division of Materials Physics, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička cesta 54, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 July 2018 / Revised: 10 August 2018 / Accepted: 18 August 2018 / Published: 23 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials and Methods for New Technologies in Polymer Processing)
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Abstract

Polyaniline/zinc oxide (PANI/ZnO) composite photocatalysts were prepared from neutral media by in situ chemical oxidation of aniline (ANI) in the presence of different amounts of diethylene glycol (DEG). The PANI/ZnO composite photocatalysts were synthesized to efficiently remove organic dye (acid blue, AB25) from model wastewater. The PANI/ZnO composite photocatalysts were studied with the intention of efficient removal of organic dye (acid blue, AB25) from wastewater to obtain low-cost heterogeneous catalysts that offer high catalytic activity and stability. The conductive PANI polymer, which absorbs Vis irradiation, was used in this work as ZnO absorbs only ultraviolet (UV) irradiation; thus, the composite photocatalysts’ activity was broadened into the Vis region. Characterization of the composite photocatalysts was done by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy, electric conductivity, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and by specific surface area (SBET) measurements. The composites’ photocatalytic activity under solar irradiation was validated by monitoring degradation of the AB25 dye. This study presented that it was possible both to prepare PANI and to prevent ZnO dissolution if in situ polymerization starts from neutral media with the addition of DEG. Additionally, efficient removal of AB25 dye, about 90% in 60 min, was achieved. The first-order rate constants of the photodegradation of AB25 by PANI/ZnO 0.02/0.024/0.04 DEG (and pure ZnO)) were computed to be 0.0272/0.0281/0.0325 (and 0.0062) min−1, indicating that the morphology and surface of the photocatalysts have significantly influenced the catalytic activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: in situ synthesis; PANI/ZnO composite; conductive polymer; photocatalyst; solar photocatalysis; acid blue dye in situ synthesis; PANI/ZnO composite; conductive polymer; photocatalyst; solar photocatalysis; acid blue dye
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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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Gilja, V.; Vrban, I.; Mandić, V.; Žic, M.; Hrnjak-Murgić, Z. Preparation of a PANI/ZnO Composite for Efficient Photocatalytic Degradation of Acid Blue. Polymers 2018, 10, 940.

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