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Photon-Free Degradation of Dyes by Ge/GeO₂ Porous Microstructures

Shinde, Satish Laxman, Nanda, Karuna Kar
ACS sustainable chemistry & engineering 2019 v.7 no.7 pp. 6611-6618
bleaching agents, dissolved oxygen, dyes, effluents, electrons, energy, industry, microstructure, photocatalysts, wastewater
Several industries use dyes as coloring agents and release untreated effluents in the form of wastewater that has created panic due to the environmental issue. Considerable efforts have been extended to develop photocatalysts for the degradation of these dyes. Here, we report the photon-free degradation of various cationic and anionic dyes for the first time by Ge/GeO₂ porous microstructures. The degradation efficiency and time are found to be dependent on the catalyst amount, and it is possible to achieve ∼100% degradation without any external stimuli. Our experimental results indicate that Ge donates electrons either directly to dye molecules or to dissolved oxygen (O₂) molecules and creates superoxide species without any extra energy source that bleaches or degrades the dyes. However, it is essential to have a continuous supply of electrons from Ge core to sustain the degradation process.