Undoped and N-doped ZnO nanocomposites are produced by a simple and low-cost mechanochemical method. The characterizations of all nanocomposites are examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy. The XRD measurements show that the crystal sizes of undoped and N-doped ZnO nanocomposites are ~29 and ~28 nm, respectively. The UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy results illustrate that the transmittance of the 7 wt% N/ZnO in the visible and infrared region is a bit higher than the undoped ZnO. The photocatalytic activity of undoped and N-doped ZnO nanocomposites is investigated for the degradation of Methylene Blue (MB) and Rhodamine B (RhB) aqueous solution with direct sunlight irradiation. The photocatalytic degradation percentages with 7 wt% N/ZnO for 5 and 10 mg/L MB dye solution are found to be 93.70% and 98.11%, respectively, whereas 78.40% and 89.15% degradation percentages are found with undoped ZnO, after 3 h sunlight irradiation. Under the same conditions, the photocatalytic degradation value of RhB dye (10 mg/L) solution is measured to be 86.21% for 7 wt% N/ZnO and 64.75% for undoped ZnO. The N-doped ZnO nanocomposites are found to exhibit enhanced photocatalytic performance for both dyes’ degradation under sunlight irradiation in comparison with the undoped ZnO. Therefore, the photocatalytic degradation treatment of wastewater including dye pollutants with sunlight is an easy and simple technique, and cost-effective.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited