Removal of toluene from water by photocatalytic oxidation with activated carbon supported Fe3+-doped TiO2 nanotubes

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

In this work, activated carbon (AC)-supported TiO2 containing 1.0% (mass percent) of 1.0 at.% (atomic percent) Fe3+-doped TiO2 nanotubes (Fe-TNTs) were successfully synthesized. The catalyst was used to effectively decompose toluene in water under O3/UV conditions, and some properties including the morphology, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction patterns, specific surface area and UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy were analyzed. A removal efficiency of 90.7% was achieved in the presence of fresh AC-supported Fe-TNTs calcined at 550 °C, with a pseudo-first-order rate constant of 0.038/min. The removal efficiency of toluene was reduced when the catalysts were repeatedly used, since the amount of adsorption sites of the supporting substrates decreased. However, even after AC-supported catalyst was used four times, the removal efficiency of toluene was still sufficient in water treatment. The enhanced photocatalytic activity of AC-supported Fe-TNTs was related to the synergistic effect of AC adsorption and Fe-TNTs photocatalytic ozonation. The water from a petrochemical company in China was used to obtain the removal efficiency of the pollutants, and the toluene and total organic carbon removal efficiencies were 69.9% and 58.3%, respectively.

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