Effect of gold and iron nanoparticles on photocatalytic behaviour of titanium dioxide towards 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ionic liquid

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Journal of Molecular Liquids


© 2019 Elsevier B.V. The high water solubility, chemical stability and low volatility of ionic liquids (ILs) have made them potentially persistent than conventional pollutants and toxic to the aquatic organisms. Therefore, extensive research efforts are being directed with an aim to develop cheap and efficient protocols to reduce the uncontrolled release of ILs in the environment. In the same line of action, titanium dioxide (TiO2) loaded with gold and iron nanoparticles were trialled for the photocatalytic degradation of highly concentrated 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride [BmimCl] ionic liquid. Furthermore, results pertaining to the degradation of the [BmimCl] using TiO2 loaded with gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) were compared with results obtained by using TiO2 loaded with Fe (NO3)3.9H2O and pristine TiO2 under same set of conditions. It was found that TiO2 decorated AuNPs demonstrated 7 times higher photocatalytic degradation for highly concentrated [BmimCl] in 60 min of reaction time in comparison to the pristine TiO2. Congruently, investigations also revealed that TiO2 loaded AuNPs expressed 3.3 times higher photocatalytic degradation of [BmimCl] in comparison to conventional photocatalyst TiO2@Fe under same reaction conditions. The higher photocatalytic performance associated with TiO2 loaded AuNPs was due to the enhanced Schottky barrier, which could have minimized the photocharge carrier resistance separation and migration. The mechanism for photocatalytic degradation of [BmimCl] using TiO2 loaded AuNPs has been also been described.

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