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Ultrasound assisted semiconductor mediated catalytic degradation of organic pollutants in water: Comparative efficacy of ZnO, TiO2 and ZnO-TiO2

Author Affiliations

  • 1School of Environmental Studies, Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi-682022 INDIA

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 1, Issue (ISC-2011), Pages 191-201, (2012)

Abstract

Sonocatalytic degradation of organic pollutants in water is investigated using ZnO, TiO2 and combination of ZnO and TiO2(ZnO-TiO2) as catalysts, with phenol as the test substrate. The efficacy of the catalysts is in the order ZnO-TiO2 > ZnO > TiO2.The degradation in presence of ZnO-TiO2 is more than the sum of the degradation achieved in presence of the individual oxidesunder identical conditions, thereby demonstrating a synergistic effect. The ratio of the components in the mixed oxide isoptimized. The kinetics of the degradation as well as the influence of various parameters such as catalyst loading, concentrationof the pollutant and pH on the degradation efficiency is evaluated. Maximum degradation is observed in the acidic pH for allcatalysts. H2O2 is formed in the reaction and it undergoes simultaneous decomposition resulting in periodic increase anddecrease in its concentration. This observation of the phenomenon of oscillation in the concentration of H2O2 is the first of itskind in sonocatalytic systems. A mechanism for the degradation of phenol is proposed based on the observations as well as theconcurrent formation and decomposition of H2O2.

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