The distinct role of boron doping in Sn3O4 microspheres for synergistic removal of phenols and Cr(vi) in simulated wastewater†
A powerful photocatalyst is the key for photocatalytic environmental purification via sunlight harvesting and utilization. In this work, novel boron doped Sn3O4 microspheres constructed from nanoplates were designed and fabricated. Density functional theory (DFT) studies were carried out to investigate the boron doping mechanism, in which DFT predicted that boron doping would enhance the light harvesting capability and the photo-response of Sn3O4, which was proved by diffuse reflectance spectra (DRS) and transient photocurrent responses. Attributed to its unique porous structure, and enhanced light harvesting and high carrier utilization capabilities, the boron doped Sn3O4 microsphere exhibited high efficiency for Cr(IV) removal and azo dyestuff degradation. Moreover, an unexpected synergistic effect upon simultaneous removal of phenols (phenol, bisphenol A and p-chlorophenol) and Cr(VI) was observed.