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Issue 12, 2015
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Titania synthesized through regulated mineralization of cellulose and its photocatalytic activity

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Abstract

Cellulose used for thousands of years has been rediscovered recently as a novel smart material for various nanotechnological applications. Its insoluble fibrils are functionalized by using mineralization methods developed in nanochemistry. Here they are coated by titania synthesized in one stage by a new green approach. It consists of controlling the localization of very fast hydrolysis and condensation reactions. Cellulose fibrils are placed in ethylene glycol with such an amount of water that is absorbed entirely by the hygroscopic polysaccharide. This hydrating water works as a reaction centre when the precursor reaches it. Instant hydrolysis and following condensation reactions proceeding mainly on the fibrils provide their mineralization. Titania prepared at ambient conditions is in an amorphous state. It is transferred in crystalline forms under a variety of conditions including moderate temperature (80 °C), calcination in air and cellulose carbonization in an inert atmosphere. These treatments result in photocatalytic activity. Even cellulose treated at the moderate conditions demonstrates significant self-cleaning ability consisting of fast degradation of methylene blue under outdoor sunlight irradiation. Photocatalytic activity of carbon–titania hybrids includes a side reaction of the oxidation of the carbonized fibrils. Photocatalytic properties of some of the calcinated samples, not containing organics, were comparable with a commercial photocatalyst.

Graphical abstract: Titania synthesized through regulated mineralization of cellulose and its photocatalytic activity

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Publication details

The article was received on 05 Dec 2014, accepted on 23 Dec 2014 and first published on 24 Dec 2014


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4RA15862H
Citation: RSC Adv., 2015,5, 8544-8551
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    Titania synthesized through regulated mineralization of cellulose and its photocatalytic activity

    I. Postnova, E. Kozlova, S. Cherepanova, S. Tsybulya, A. Rempel and Y. Shchipunov, RSC Adv., 2015, 5, 8544
    DOI: 10.1039/C4RA15862H

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