Using ilmenite as a raw material, iron was converted into Fe3
magnetic fluid, which further was combined with titanium filtrate by a solvothermal method. Finally Fe3
nanocomposites with the uniform size of 100–200 nm were prepared. This approach uses rich, inexpensive ilmenite as a titanium and iron source, which effectively reduces the production cost. The crystal structure, chemical properties and morphologies of the products were characterized by SEM, TEM, XRD, FTIR, BET, UV-Vis, XPS and VSM. The novel photocatalyst composed of face-centered cubic Fe3
and body-centered tetragonal anatase–TiO2
exhibits a spherical shape with porous structures, superparamagnetic behavior and strong absorption in the visible light range. Using the degradation reaction of Rhodamine B (RhB) to evaluate the photocatalytic performance, the results suggest that Fe3
nanocomposites exhibit excellent photocatalytic activities and stability under visible light and solar light. Moreover, the magnetic titania nanocomposites displayed good magnetic response and were recoverable over several cycles. Based on the trapping experiments, the main active species in the photocatalytic reaction were confirmed and the possible photocatalytic mechanism of RhB with magnetic titania was proposed. The enhanced photocatalytic activity and stability, combined with excellent magnetic recoverability, make the prepared nanocomposite a potential candidate in wastewater purification.
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