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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Preparation of Visible Light Photocatalytic Graphene Embedded Rutile Titanium(IV) Oxide Composite Nanowires and Enhanced NOx Removal

1
Daegyeong Regional Infrastructure Technology Development Center, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41566, South Korea
2
Global Innovative Center for Advanced Nanomaterials, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Catalysts 2019, 9(2), 170; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9020170
Received: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 February 2019 / Published: 11 February 2019
The quest for developing highly efficient TiO2-based photocatalysts is continuing and, in particular, evolving a new strategy is an important aspect in this regard. In general, much effort has been devoted to the anatase TiO2 modifications, despite there being only a few recent studies on rutile TiO2 (rTiO2). To the best of our knowledge, studies on the preparation and characterization of the photocatalysts based on the intentional inclusion of graphene (G) into rTiO2 nanostructures have not been reported yet. Herein, we develop a new type of TiO2-based photocatalyst comprising of G included pure rTiO2 nanowire (abbreviated as rTiO2(G) NW) with enhanced visible light absorption capability. To prepare rTiO2(G) NW, the G incorporated titanate electrospun fibers were obtained by electrospinning and subsequently heat treated at various temperatures (500 to 800 °C). Electrospinning conditions were optimized for producing good quality rTiO2(G) NW. The rTiO2(G) NW and their corresponding samples were characterized by appropriate techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and UV-vis diffuse reflectance spectroscopy to ascertain their material characteristics. XRD results show that the lattice strain occurs upon inclusion of G. We present here the first observation of an apparent bandgap lowering because of the G inclusion into TiO2 NW. While anatase TiO2 NW exhibited poor visible light photocatalysis towards NOx removal, the rTiO2(G) NW photocatalyst witnessed a significantly enhanced (~67%) photocatalytic performance as compared to anatase TiO2(G) NW. We concluded that the inclusion of G into rTiO2 nanostructures enhances the visible light photoactivity. A plausible mechanism for photocatalysis is suggested. View Full-Text
Keywords: Titanium dioxide; rutile; graphene; nanowires; photocatalysis Titanium dioxide; rutile; graphene; nanowires; photocatalysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, J.-C.; Gopalan, A.-I.; Sai-Anand, G.; Lee, K.-P.; Kim, W.-J. Preparation of Visible Light Photocatalytic Graphene Embedded Rutile Titanium(IV) Oxide Composite Nanowires and Enhanced NOx Removal. Catalysts 2019, 9, 170.

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