Exploring the potential of ZnO-Ag@AgBr/SBA-15 Z-scheme heterostructure for efficient wastewater treatment: synthesis, characterization, and real-world applications

RSC Adv. 2023 Apr 20;13(18):12402-12410. doi: 10.1039/d3ra01856c. eCollection 2023 Apr 17.


This study reports on the synthesis and characterization of ZnO-Ag@AgBr/SBA-15 composites using natural halloysite clay from Yenbai Province, Vietnam, as a silica aluminum source. The synthesized materials demonstrated visible light absorption with a band gap energy range of 2.63-2.98 eV. The dual Z-scheme ZnO-Ag@AgBr/SBA-15 heterojunction exhibited superior catalytic performance compared to ZnO/SBA-15 and Ag@AgBr/SBA-15, owing to its improved electron transfer and reduced electron and hole recombination rate. In particular, the photocatalytic efficiency of ZnO-Ag@AgBr/SBA-15 was evaluated for the removal of harmful phenol red from wastewater under visible light irradiation. The photocatalytic process was optimized by varying the phenol red concentration, pH, and catalyst dosage, and showed that 98.8% of phenol red in 100 mL wastewater (pH = 5.5) can be removed using 40 mg of 20%ZnO-Ag@AgBr/SBA-15 within 120 min. Furthermore, the degradation pathway of phenol red was predicted using liquid chromatographic-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Finally, the photocatalytic process was successfully tested using water samples collected from the four main domestic waste sources in Hanoi, including the To Lich River, the Hong River, the Hoan Kiem Lake, and the West Lake, demonstrating the high potential of the ZnO-Ag@AgBr/SBA-15 photocatalyst for phenol red degradation in real-world wastewater treatment applications.

PMID:37091624 | PMC:PMC10116339 | DOI:10.1039/d3ra01856c


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