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Increased photocatalytic activity of Zn(II)/Cu(II) oxides and sulfides by coupling and supporting them onto clinoptilolite nanoparticles in the degradation of benzophenone aqueous solution

Esmaili-Hafshejani, Javad, Nezamzadeh-Ejhieh, Alireza
Journal of hazardous materials 2016 v.316 pp. 194-203
X-ray diffraction, aqueous solutions, benzophenones, catalysts, cupric oxide, nanoparticles, pH, photocatalysis, photolysis, semiconductors, transmission electron microscopy, zeolites, zinc, zinc oxide, zinc sulfide
Photocatalytic activity of the coupled ZnO–CuO and ZnS–CuS semiconductors supported onto clinoptilolite nanoparticles (CNP) and micronized one (CMP) was studied in photodegradation of benzophenone (BP) aqueous solution. The ZnO–CuO/CNP (or MCP) and ZnS–CuS/CNP (or MCP) catalysts were prepared via calcination and sulfiding of their Zn(II)–Cu(II) ion-exchanged samples, respectively. XRD patterns confirmed loading of the mentioned semiconductors onto the zeolite, and nano dimension of the catalysts was confirmed by XRD and TEM results. Typical Tauc plots obtained from UV–vis DRS spectra showed red shifts for the band gap energies of the supported coupled semiconductors with respect to the supported monocomponent ones especially for ZnO/NCP and ZnS/NCP catalysts. Also, in both indirect and direct transitions, these red shifts were more considerable in the oxidic systems with respect to the sulfidic systems. Accordingly, the supported oxidic systems showed better photocatalytic activity than the sulfidic one. In the oxidic systems changing the dose of CuO played important role while in the sulfidic systems ZnS played considerable role in the degradation of BP. In the used systems, CuO and ZnS played the main e/h generators in the oxidic and sulfidic systems, respectively, while ZnO and CuS played the preventer e/h recombination. Based on the results, production of e/h is the rate limiting step in the used systems. The maximum degradation activity of the catalysts was obtained at: 0.12gL⁻¹ of ZnO0.80–CuO3.18/NCP and 0.10gL⁻¹ of ZnS1.39–CuS2.88/NCP catalysts, initial BP concentration of 30mgL⁻¹ at pH 7.5.