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Open AccessArticle

White and Red Brazilian São Simão’s Kaolinite–TiO2 Nanocomposites as Catalysts for Toluene Photodegradation from Aqueous Solutions

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Grupo de Pesquisas em Materiais Lamelares Híbridos (GPMatLam), Universidade de Franca (Unifran), Av. Dr. Armando Salles Oliveira, 201 Parque Universitário, Franca-SP 14404-600, Brazil
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GIR-QUESCAT, Dep. de Química Inorgánica, Universidad de Salamanca, E–37008 Salamanca, Spain
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INAMAT, Departamento de Ciencias, Universidad Pública de Navarra, E–31006 Pamplona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2019, 12(23), 3943; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma12233943
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 20 November 2019 / Accepted: 26 November 2019 / Published: 28 November 2019
The presence of volatile organic compounds in groundwater is a major concern when it is used as a drinking water source because many of these compounds can adversely affect human health. This work reports on the preparation and characterization of white and red Brazilian São Simão’s kaolinite-TiO2 nanocomposites and their use as catalysts in the photochemical degradation of toluene, a significant volatile organic compound. The nanocomposites were prepared by a sol-gel procedure, using titanium bis(triethanolaminate)diisopropoxide as a precursor. Thermal treatments of the nanocomposites led to different polymorphic titania phases, while the clay changed from kaolinite to metakaolinite. This structural evolution strongly affected the photocatalytic degradation behavior—all the solids efficiently degraded toluene and the solid calcined at 400 °C, formed by kaolinite and anatase, showed the best behavior (90% degradation). On extending the photochemical treatment up to 48 h, high mineralization levels were reached. The advantage of photodegradation using the nanocomposites was confirmed by comparing the results from isolated components (titanium dioxide and kaolinite) to observe that the nanocomposites displayed fundamental importance to the photodegradation pathways of toluene. View Full-Text
Keywords: photodegradation; kaolinite; volatile organic compound; titanium dioxide; nanocomposites photodegradation; kaolinite; volatile organic compound; titanium dioxide; nanocomposites
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Mora, L.D.; Bonfim, L.F.; Barbosa, L.V.; da Silva, T.H.; Nassar, E.J.; Ciuffi, K.J.; González, B.; Vicente, M.A.; Trujillano, R.; Rives, V.; Pérez-Bernal, M.E.; Korili, S.; Gil, A.; de Faria, E.H. White and Red Brazilian São Simão’s Kaolinite–TiO2 Nanocomposites as Catalysts for Toluene Photodegradation from Aqueous Solutions. Materials 2019, 12, 3943.

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