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Article

Graphene-Based TiO2 Nanocomposite for Photocatalytic Degradation of Dyes in Aqueous Solution under Solar-Like Radiation

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Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, Ivana Lučića 5, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Faculty of Chemical Engineering and Technology, University of Zagreb, Trg Marka Marulića 20, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Forensic Science Centre “Ivan Vučetić”, Ministry of the Interior, Ilica 335, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
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Jožef Stefan Institute, Jamova Cesta 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
5
Centre for Mechanical Technology and Automation (TEMA), Mechanical Engineering Department, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vlasoula Bekiari
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 3966; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093966
Received: 31 March 2021 / Revised: 20 April 2021 / Accepted: 22 April 2021 / Published: 27 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances of Graphene-Based Nanoplatforms)
This study presents a novel method for the development of TiO2/reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanocomposites for photocatalytic degradation of dyes in an aqueous solution. The synergistic integration of rGO and TiO2, through the formation of Ti–O–C bonds, offers an interesting opportunity to design photocatalyst nanocomposite materials with the maximum absorption shift to the visible region of the spectra, where photodegradation can be activated not only with UV but also with the visible part of natural solar irradiation. TiO2@rGO nanocomposites with different content of rGO have been self-assembled by the hydrothermal method followed by calcination treatment. The morphological and structural analysis of the synthesized photocatalysts was performed by FTIR, XRD, XPS, UV-Vis DRS, SEM/EDX, and Raman spectroscopy. The effectiveness of the synthesized nanocomposites as photocatalysts was examined through the photodegradation of methylene blue (MB) and rhodamine B (RhB) dye under artificial solar-like radiation. The influence of rGO concentration (5 and 15 wt.%) on TiO2 performance for photodegradation of the different dyes was monitored by UV-Vis spectroscopy. The obtained results showed that the synthesized TiO2@rGO nanocomposites significantly increased the decomposition of RhB and MB compared to the synthesized TiO2 photocatalyst. Furthermore, TiO2@rGO nanocomposite with high contents of rGO (15 wt.%) presented an improved performance in photodegradation of MB (98.1%) and RhB (99.8%) after 120 min of exposition to solar-like radiation. These results could be mainly attributed to the decrease of the bandgap of synthesized TiO2@rGO nanocomposites with the increased contents of rGO. Energy gap (Eg) values of nanocomposites are 2.71 eV and 3.03 eV, when pure TiO2 particles have 3.15 eV. These results show the potential of graphene-based TiO2 nanocomposite to be explored as a highly efficient solar light-driven photocatalyst for water purification. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene oxide; TiO2@rGO nanocomposite; photocatalysis; solar-like irradiation; Methylene blue; Rhodamine B graphene oxide; TiO2@rGO nanocomposite; photocatalysis; solar-like irradiation; Methylene blue; Rhodamine B
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kocijan, M.; Ćurković, L.; Ljubas, D.; Mužina, K.; Bačić, I.; Radošević, T.; Podlogar, M.; Bdikin, I.; Otero-Irurueta, G.; Hortigüela, M.J.; Gonçalves, G. Graphene-Based TiO2 Nanocomposite for Photocatalytic Degradation of Dyes in Aqueous Solution under Solar-Like Radiation. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 3966. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093966

AMA Style

Kocijan M, Ćurković L, Ljubas D, Mužina K, Bačić I, Radošević T, Podlogar M, Bdikin I, Otero-Irurueta G, Hortigüela MJ, Gonçalves G. Graphene-Based TiO2 Nanocomposite for Photocatalytic Degradation of Dyes in Aqueous Solution under Solar-Like Radiation. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(9):3966. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093966

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kocijan, Martina, Lidija Ćurković, Davor Ljubas, Katarina Mužina, Ivana Bačić, Tina Radošević, Matejka Podlogar, Igor Bdikin, Gonzalo Otero-Irurueta, María J. Hortigüela, and Gil Gonçalves. 2021. "Graphene-Based TiO2 Nanocomposite for Photocatalytic Degradation of Dyes in Aqueous Solution under Solar-Like Radiation" Applied Sciences 11, no. 9: 3966. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11093966

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