ZnO nanorods modified with noble metal-free Co3O4 nanoparticles as a photocatalyst for efficient ethylene degradation under light irradiation†
In this study, we synthesized noble metal-free Co3O4 as a cocatalyst for a modified ZnO nanorod photocatalyst to achieve efficient ethylene degradation under light irradiation. The Co3O4-decorated ZnO nanorods demonstrate photocatalytic activity for ethylene oxidation that is better than that of pure ZnO and even better than that of the noble metal-based RuO2-modified ZnO. Furthermore, Co3O4-modified ZnO exhibits good stability in a six-cycle experiment. Measurement results indicate that the Co3O4 nanoparticles can effectively promote the transfer and inhibit the recombination of photogenerated electrons and holes during the photocatalytic reaction. Therefore, the Co3O4-modified ZnO nanorod photocatalyst displays excellent photocatalytic properties for ethylene degradation and can effectively realize the complete mineralization of ethylene molecules.