Facile synthesis of TiO2-RGO composite with enhanced performance for the photocatalytic mineralization of organic pollutants

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Current research reports the synthesis of reduced graphene oxide (RGO)-TiO2 nanocomposite by in-situ redox method and graphene oxide by modified hummers method. The ratio of RGO and TiO2 in the composite was optimized to show best photocatalytic activity for the degradation of targeted pollutants. Optimized (1:10) RGO-TiO2 nanocomposite was characterized by various techniques viz. X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), Brunauer–Emmett–Teller surface area (BET), Raman and diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) technique confirming successful formation of nanocomposite. XRD results confirm the presence of anatase phase in RGO-TiO2. Uniform dispersion of TiO2 nanoparticles on RGO could be seen from TEM images. The obtained results of (1:10) RGO-TiO2 showed five-fold and two-fold enhancement for the visible light and UV light, respectively, for the photocatalytic mineralization of methylene blue dye as compared to commercial Aeroxide P25 TiO2. The excellent photocatalytic mineralization activity of (1:10) RGO-TiO2 could be attributed to the enhanced surface area of composite as well as to its good electron sink capability. (1:10) RGO-TiO2 could be recycled easily and was found to be equally efficient even after the fourth cycle for the photocatalytic mineralization of methylene blue dye. The non-selectivity of synthesized composite was checked by the mineralization studies of oxalic acid.

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