Iranian researchers from Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz produced a non-toxic nanocatalyst that has highly appropriate performance in the degradation of pollutants.
The nanocatalyst was produced through a simple and cheap method. Results of the research can be used in the production of water and air purification filters.
In recent year, researchers have paid special attention to zinc oxide due to its non-toxicity, low price, physical stability, and high chemical performance. In addition, zinc oxide has higher efficiency in photocatalytic reduction of some pollutants than other commercial materials. This research tries to study various zinc oxide nanostructures and their photocatalytic properties through a simple method. Results of the research confirm the difference in the photocatalytic performance of different produced nanostructures.
Generally speaking, photocatalytic activity is higher in nanodisks and nanoheets than in nanoparticles, and it is higher in nanoparticles than in nanowires. Moreover, many of the produced samples had better photocatalytic properties than titania nanoparticles, which indicates the high performance of zinc oxide.
According to the results, the best photocatalytic activity was obtained in the sample produced through thermal decomposition of zinc acetate dehydrate for five hours in vapor phase. The sample decomposes more than 72% and 99% of methylene blue color in the first 30 and 120 minutes, respectively. There was also observed logical relation between the amount of color adsorption by zinc oxide nanoparticles in the first 30 minutes in the absence of UV radiation and the photocatalytic activity. Therefore, it can be concluded that many of the samples are in agreement with Langmuir-Hinshelwood Model.
Results of the research have been published in Ceramics International, vol. 40, issue 5, January 2014, pp. 6605-6610.