N–F-co-embedded titania (N–F–TiO2
) photocatalysts with varying N:F ratios were synthesized and tested for their ability to photocatalyze the degradation of pollutants present at indoor air levels using visible light. The synthesis was achieved using a solvothermal process with tetrabutyl titanate, urea and ammonium fluoride as sources of Ti, N and F, respectively. Three selected volatile organic compounds (toluene, ethyl benzene and o-xylene) were selected as the test pollutants. The prepared composites were characterized using X-ray diffraction, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Ultra-violet (UV)-visible spectroscopy. The photocatalytic degradation efficiencies of N–F–TiO2
composites were higher than those obtained using pure TiO2
. Moreover, these efficiencies increased as the N:F ratio decreased from sixteen to eight, then decreased as it dropped further to three, indicating the presence of an optimal N:F ratio. Meanwhile, as retention time decreased from 12.4 to 0.62 s, the average photocatalytic efficiencies decreased from 65.4% to 21.7%, 91.5% to 37.8% and 95.8% to 44.7% for toluene, ethyl benzene and o-xylene, respectively. In contrast, the photocatalytic reaction rates increased as retention time decreased. In consideration of all of these factors, under optimized operational conditions, the prepared N–F–TiO2
composites could be utilized for the degradation of target pollutants at indoor air levels using visible light.
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