Photoelectrochemical oxidation of p-nitrophenol on an expanded graphite-TiO2 electrode

B. Ntsendwana, S. Sampath, B. B. Mamba, O. A. Arotiba

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24 Citations (Scopus)


In the quest for more efficient photoanodes in the photoelectrochemical oxidation processes for organic pollutant degradation and mineralisation in water treatment, we present the synthesis, characterisation and photoelectrochemical application of expanded graphite-TiO2 composite (EG-TiO2) prepared using the sol-gel method with organically modified silicate. The Brunauer-Emmett-Teller surface area analyser, ultraviolet-visible diffuse reflectance, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry, Raman spectrometry and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy were employed for the characterisation of the composites. The applicability of the EG-TiO2 as photoanode material was investigated by the photoelectrochemical degradation of p-nitrophenol as a target pollutant in a 0.1 M Na2SO4 (pH 7) solution at a current density of 5 mA cm-2. After optimising the TiO2 loading, initial p-nitrophenol concentration, pH and current density, a removal efficiency of 62% with an apparent kinetic rate constant of 10.4 × 10-3 min -1 was obtained for the photoelectrochemical process as compared to electrochemical oxidation and photolysis, where removal efficiencies of 6% and 24% were obtained respectively after 90 min. Furthermore, the EG-TiO2 electrode was able to withstand high current density due to its high stability. The EG-TiO2 electrode was also used to degrade 0.3 × 10 -4 M methylene blue and 0.1 × 10-4 M Eosin Yellowish, leading to 94% and 47% removal efficiency within 120 reaction time. This confirms the suitability of the EG-TiO2 electrode to degrade other organic pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1091-1102
Number of pages12
JournalPhotochemical and Photobiological Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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