The synthesis of titanium dioxide photocatalysts by sol-gel method: the effect of hydrothermal treatment conditions and use of carbon nanotube template

Yürüm, Alp
Titanium dioxide (TiO2), a semiconductor, has been used in many areas like heterogeneous photocatalysis. In the present study, the effect of hydrothermal treatment conditions and the use of carbon nanotubes on the photocatalytic activity of sol-gel synthesized titanium dioxide were examined. The anatase particles were transformed into layered trititanate particles with either nanotube or nanoplate structure by hydrothermal treatment under the alkaline conditions. Post hydrothermal treatment under neutral conditions was also applied and mesoporous particles were transformed into nanostructured, highly crystalline and ordered anatase particles. Photocatalytic activities of hydrothermally treated samples were determined against Escherichia coli under solar irradiation. Results showed that hydrothermal treatment under alkaline conditions improved the photocatalytic activity. However, although being highly crystalline, after post treatment, a limited activity was obtained because of dehydration of active (101) face of anatase. Nevertheless, TiO2’s initial inactivation constant rose from 0.6 to 2.9 hr-1 after regeneration of active sites in aqueous medium under solar irradiation. In order to enhance the surface area and improve activity, multi-walled carbon nanotubes were utilized during the synthesis of TiO2. The effect of calcination conditions and presence of sodium, iron and cobalt on the photocatalytic activity were also studied. For these samples, photocatalytic activities were tested with methylene blue solution under UV irradiation. It was observed that the utilization of CNTs enhanced both the surface area and the activity. Compositions with highest CNT content had better activities for their ability to delay charge recombination. While pure TiO2‘s initial decomposition constant was 0.8 hr-1, with sodium doping the best value of 1.9 hr-1 was achieved.


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Citation Formats
A. Yürüm, “The synthesis of titanium dioxide photocatalysts by sol-gel method: the effect of hydrothermal treatment conditions and use of carbon nanotube template ,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2009.