Pyrocatalytic oxidation – strong size-dependent poling effect on catalytic activity of pyroelectric BaTiO3 nano- and microparticles†
Pyrocatalysis is an emerging advanced oxidation process for wastewater remediation with the potential for thermal energy harvesting and utilization. Although several studies explored the potential of new pyrocatalyst materials to degrade harmful organic water pollutants, the role of important material properties and electric poling procedures on the pyrocatalytic activity is still unclear. In this work, we investigate the interdependence between particle size, electric poling and pyrocatalytic activity of BaTiO3 powders with nominal particle sizes of 100, 200 and 500 nm by using the dichlorofluorescein redox assay. Depending on the particle size, the influence of surface area or phase composition on the pyrocatalytic activity predominates. Moreover, we demonstrate that poling of pyrocatalysts leads to a strong size-dependent increase of pyrocatalytic activity. This poling effect increases with particle size up to +247% and can be explained with size-dependent changes in phase composition and domain structure. Combining all results, the progression of the pyrocatalytic activity as a function of particle size was derived and a future strategy for maximizing the catalytic performance of pyrocatalysts was developed. This study greatly improves the understanding about the role of important material properties and electric poling on pyrocatalytic activity, thus enabling an effective catalyst design. With the help of highly active catalysts, the pyrocatalytic process can take the next step in its development into a new and energy-efficient advanced oxidation process for water remediation.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2020 PCCP HOT Articles