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Open AccessArticle

Innovative Low-Cost Carbon/ZnO Hybrid Materials with Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity towards Organic Pollutant Dyes’ Removal

1
“Petru Poni” Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry, 41A Grigore Ghica Voda Alley, 700487 Iasi, Romania
2
Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science & MANSiD Research Center, Stefan cel Mare University, 13 Str. Universitatii, 720229 Suceava, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(9), 1873; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10091873
Received: 10 August 2020 / Revised: 12 September 2020 / Accepted: 15 September 2020 / Published: 18 September 2020
A new type of material based on carbon/ZnO nanostructures that possesses both adsorption and photocatalytic properties was obtained in three stages: cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) microfiber mats prepared by the electrospinning method, ZnO nanostructures growth by dipping and hydrothermal methods, and finally thermal calcination at 600 °C in N2 for 30 min. X-ray diffraction (XRD) confirmed the structural characteristics. It was found that ZnO possesses a hexagonal wurtzite crystalline structure. The ZnO nanocrystals with star-like and nanorod shapes were evidenced by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) measurements. A significant decrease in Eg value was found for carbon/ZnO hybrid materials (2.51 eV) as compared to ZnO nanostructures (3.21 eV). The photocatalytic activity was evaluated by studying the degradation of three dyes, Methylene Blue (MB), Rhodamine B (RhB) and Congo Red (CR) under visible-light irradiation. Therefore, the maximum color removal efficiency (both adsorption and photocatalytic processes) was: 97.97% of MB (C0 = 10 mg/L), 98.34% of RhB (C0 = 5 mg/L), and 91.93% of CR (C0 = 10 mg/L). Moreover, the value of the rate constant (k) was found to be 0.29 × 10−2 min−1. The novelty of this study relies on obtaining new photocatalysts based on carbon/ZnO using cheap and accessible raw materials, and low-cost preparation techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon/ZnO nanostructures; electrospinning; photocatalyst; photocatalytic activity carbon/ZnO nanostructures; electrospinning; photocatalyst; photocatalytic activity
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Pascariu, P.; Olaru, N.; Rotaru, A.; Airinei, A. Innovative Low-Cost Carbon/ZnO Hybrid Materials with Enhanced Photocatalytic Activity towards Organic Pollutant Dyes’ Removal. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 1873.

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