Sol-hydrothermal synthesis of inorganic-framework molecularly imprinted TiO2/SiO2 nanocomposite and its preferential photocatalytic degradation towards target contaminant

Fang Deng, Yin Liu, Xubiao Luo, Shaolin Wu, Shenglian Luo, Chaktong Au, Ruoxi Qi
Journal of Hazardous Materials 2014 August 15, 278: 108-15
Inorganic-framework molecularly imprinted TiO2/SiO2 nanocomposite (MIP-TiO2/SiO2) was successfully prepared by sol-hydrothermal method using 4-nitrophenol as template. The morphology, structure, optical property, zeta-potential and photocurrent of MIP-TiO2/SiO2 were characterized. The adsorption performance and photocatalytic selectivity were also studied. MIP-TiO2/SiO2 shows higher adsorption capacity and selectivity than the non-imprinted TiO2/SiO2 (NIP-TiO2/SiO2). Kinetics results show that the adsorption equilibrium of 4-nitrophenol on MIP-TiO2/SiO2 is established within 20 min, and the adsorption process obeys the pseudo-second-order model. Moreover, MIP-TiO2/SiO2 can completely degrade 4-nitrophenol within 30 min, while NIP-TiO2/SiO2 takes 110 min. It was found that the MIP-TiO2/SiO2 photocatalyst shows molecular recognition ability, leading to selective adsorption and molecular recognitive photocatalytic degradation of 4-nitrophenol. Furthermore, because of its inorganic framework, MIP-TiO2/SiO2 shows excellent reusability.

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