Photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue from aqueous solutions using nanopillars-TiO2 thin films: Batch reactor studies


Nanopillars-TiO2 thin films was obtained on a borosilicate glass substrate with (S1) and without (S2) polyethylene glycol as template. The photocatalytic behaviour of S1 and S2 thin films was assessed inthe degradation of methylene blue (MB) dye from aqueous solution under batch reactor operations. The thin films were characterized by the SEM, XRD, FTIR and AFM analytical methods. BET specific surface area and pore sizes were also obtained. The XRD data confirmed that the TiO2 particles are in its anatase mineral phase. The SEM and AFM images indicated the catalyst is composed with nanosized pillars of TiO2, evenly distributed on the surface of the substrate. The BET specific surface area and pore sizes of S1 and S2 catalyst were found to be 5.217 and 1.420 m2/g and 7.77 and 4.16 nm respectively. The photocatalytic degradation of MB was well studied at wide range of physico-chemical parameters. The effect of solution pH (pH 4.0 to 10.0) and MB initial concentration (1.0 to 10.0 mg/L) was extensively studied and the effect of several interfering ions, i.e., cadmium nitrate, copper sulfate, zinc chloride, sodium chloride, sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, glycine, oxalic acid and EDTA in the photocatalytic degradation of MB was demonstrated. The maximum percent removal of MB was observed at pH 8.0 beyond which it started decreasing and a low initial concentration of the pollutant highly favoured the photocatalytic degradation using thin films and the presence of several interfering ions diminished the photocatalytic activity of thin films to some extent. The overall photocatalytic activity was in the order: S2 > S1 > UV. The photocatalytic degradation of MB was followed the pseudo-first-order rate kinetics. The mineralization of MB was studied with total organic carbon measurement using the TOC (total organic carbon) analysis.

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