Photocatalytic degradation of azo dyes by nitrogen-doped TiO2 nanocatalysts

Y Liu, X Chen, J Li, C Burda
Chemosphere 2005, 61 (1): 11-8
This study examined the photocatalytic degradation of three azo dyes, acid orange 7 (AO7), procion red MX-5B (MX-5B) and reactive black 5 (RB5) using a new type of nitrogen-doped TiO2 nanocrystals. These newly developed doped titania nanocatalysts demonstrated high reactivity under visible light (lambda>390 nm), allowing more efficient usage of solar light. The doped titania were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Experiments were conducted to compare the photocatalytic activities of nitrogen-doped TiO2 nanocatalysts and commercially available Degussa P25 powder using both UV illumination and solar light. It is shown that nitrogen-doped TiO2 after calcination had the highest photocatalytic activity among all three catalysts tested, with 95% of AO7 decolorized in 1 h under UV illumination. The doped TiO2 also exhibited substantial photocatalytic activity under direct sunlight irradiation, with 70% of the dye color removed in 1h and complete decolorization within 3 h. Degussa P25 did not cause detectable dye decolorization under identical experimental conditions using solar light. The decrease of total organic carbon (TOC) and evolution of inorganic sulfate (SO4(2-)) ions in dye solutions were measured to monitor the dye mineralization process.

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