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Photocatalytic activity of Ag/Al2O3–Gd2O3 photocatalysts prepared by the sol–gel method in the degradation of 4-chlorophenol

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Abstract

The photocatalytic activity in the degradation of 4-chlorophenol (4-ClPh) in aqueous medium (80 ppm) using 2.0 wt% Ag/Al2O3–Gd2O3 (Ag/Al–Gd-x; where x = 2.0, 5.0, 15.0, 25.0 and 50.0 wt% of Gd2O3) photocatalysts prepared by the sol–gel method was studied under UV light irradiation. The photocatalysts were characterized by N2 physisorption, X-ray diffraction, SEM, HRTEM, UV-Vis, XPS, FTIR and fluorescence spectroscopy. About 67.0% of 4-ClPh was photoconverted after 4 h of UV light irradiation using Ag/γ-–Al2O3. When Ag/Al–Gd-x photocatalysts were tested, the 4-ClPh photoconversion was improved and more than 90.0% of 4-ClPh was photoconverted after 3 h of UV light irradiation in the materials containing 15.0 and 25.0 wt% of Gd2O3. Ag/Al–Gd-25 was the material with the highest efficacy to mineralize dissolved organic carbon, mineralizing more than 85.0% after 4 h of UV light irradiation. Silver nanoparticles and micro-particles of irregular pentagonal shape intersected by plane nanobelts of Al2O3–Gd2O3 composite oxide were detected in the Ag/Al–Gd-25 photocatalyst. This material is characterized by a lowest recombination rate of electron–hole pairs. The low recombination rate of photo-induced electron–hole pairs in the Ag/Al–Gd-x photocatalysts with high Gd2O3 contents (≥15.0 wt%) confirmes that the presence of silver nanoparticles and microparticles interacting with Al2O3–Gd2O3 composite oxide entities favors the separation of photo-induced charges (e and h+). These materials could be appropriate to be used as highly efficient photocatalysts to eliminate high concentrations of 4-ClPh in aqueous medium.

Graphical abstract: Photocatalytic activity of Ag/Al2O3–Gd2O3 photocatalysts prepared by the sol–gel method in the degradation of 4-chlorophenol

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Publication details

The article was received on 22 Nov 2017, accepted on 30 Dec 2017 and first published on 15 Jan 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7RA12665D
Citation: RSC Adv., 2018,8, 3108-3119
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Photocatalytic activity of Ag/Al2O3–Gd2O3 photocatalysts prepared by the sol–gel method in the degradation of 4-chlorophenol

    A. Barrera, F. Tzompantzi, J. Campa-Molina, J. E. Casillas, R. Pérez-Hernández, S. Ulloa-Godinez, C. Velásquez and J. Arenas-Alatorre, RSC Adv., 2018, 8, 3108
    DOI: 10.1039/C7RA12665D

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