Synthesis and photocatalysis of mesoporous titania templated by natural rubber latex
Although a few systems prepared by using biotemplates have been employed as mesoporous photocatalysts, the natural latex secreted by plants has not been used as a template to synthesize porous materials, let alone for the achievement of high photocatalytic activity under solar light. Herein, one of the most important biosynthesized polymers, natural rubber latex from the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis in Xishuangbanna was directly used as a structure-directing agent in synthesis of thermally stable mesostructured TiO2. The as-prepared samples were characterized by XRD, FT-IR, XPS, N2 adsorption/desorption, TEM and UV-vis DRS. The synthesized TiO2 exhibited highly effective photocatalytic activity for the degradation of phenol and rhodamine B under solar light. Furthermore, addition of acetylacetone (ACA) during the synthesis significantly enhanced the photocatalytic activity. The reported strategies provide a new direction of using natural rubber latex as a template to prepare highly effective photocatalysts.