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Open AccessArticle

Functionalized Cellulose for the Controlled Synthesis of Novel Carbon–Ti Nanocomposites: Physicochemical and Photocatalytic Properties

1
Carbon Materials Research Group, Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Granada, Avda, Fuente Nueva, s/n. ES18071 Granada, Spain
2
Fabrication Technology Department, Advanced Technology and New Materials Research Institute (ATNMRI), City of Scientific Research and Technology Applications (SRTA-City), New Borg El-Arab City 21934, Egypt
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 729; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040729
Received: 21 March 2020 / Revised: 7 April 2020 / Accepted: 7 April 2020 / Published: 11 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carbon-Based Nanostructured Films)
Carbon–Ti nanocomposites were prepared by a controlled two-step method using microcrystalline cellulose as a raw material. The synthesis procedure involves the solubilization of cellulose by an acid treatment (H3PO4 or HNO3) and the impregnation with the Ti precursor followed of a carbonization step at 500 or 800 °C. The type of acid treatment leads to a different functionalization of cellulose with phosphorus- or oxygen-containing surface groups, which are able to control the load, dispersion and crystalline phase of Ti during the composite preparation. Thus, phosphorus functionalities lead to amorphous carbon–Ti composites at 500 °C, while TiP2O7 crystals are formed when prepared at 800 °C. On the contrary, oxygenated groups induce the formation of TiO2 rutile at an unusually low temperature (500 °C), while an increase of carbonization temperature promotes a progressive crystal growth. The removal of Orange G (OG) azo dye in aqueous solution, as target pollutant, was used to determine the adsorptive and photocatalytic efficiencies, with all composites being more active than the benchmark TiO2 material (Degussa P25). Carbon–Ti nanocomposites with a developed micro-mesoporosity, reduced band gap and TiO2 rutile phase were the most active in the photodegradation of OG under ultraviolet irradiation. View Full-Text
Keywords: cellulose decrystallization; phosphorus functionalities; carbon–Ti nanocomposites; TiP2O7 crystals; Orange G; photocatalysis cellulose decrystallization; phosphorus functionalities; carbon–Ti nanocomposites; TiP2O7 crystals; Orange G; photocatalysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hamad, H.; Bailón-García, E.; Morales-Torres, S.; Carrasco-Marín, F.; Pérez-Cadenas, A.F.; Maldonado-Hódar, F.J. Functionalized Cellulose for the Controlled Synthesis of Novel Carbon–Ti Nanocomposites: Physicochemical and Photocatalytic Properties. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 729.

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