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Photodegradation of Phenol Red in the Presence of ZnO Nanoparticles

Authors: T.K. Tan, P.S. Khiew, W.S. Chiu, S.Radiman, R.Abd-Shukor, N.M. Huang, H.N. Lim


In our recent study, we have used ZnO nanoparticles assisted with UV light irradiation to investigate the photocatalytic degradation of Phenol Red (PR). The ZnO photocatalyst was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), specific surface area analysis (BET) and UVvisible spectroscopy. X-ray diffractometry result for the ZnO nanoparticles exhibit normal crystalline phase features. All observed peaks can be indexed to the pure hexagonal wurtzite crystal structures, with the space group of P63mc. There are no other impurities in the diffraction peak. In addition, TEM measurement shows that most of the nanoparticles are rod-like and spherical in shape and fairly monodispersed. A significant degradation of the PR was observed when the catalyst was added into the solution even without the UV light exposure. In addition, the photodegradation increases with the photocatalyst loading. The surface area of the ZnO nanomaterials from the BET measurement was 11.9 m2/g. Besides the photocatalyst loading, the effect of some parameters on the photodegradation efficiency such as initial PR concentration and pH were also studied.

Keywords: Nanostructures, zinc oxide, phenol red, heterogeneous photocatalyst

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