Synthesis of N-doped ZnO nanoparticles with cabbage morphology as a catalyst for the efficient photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue under UV and visible light

Eswaran Prabakaran, Kriveshini Pillay

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98 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, the synthesis of nitrogen-doped zinc oxide nanoparticles with a cabbage like morphology (N-ZnONCBs) by a hydrothermal method using zinc acetate dihydrate as a precursor and hydrazine monohydrate as a nitrogen source is reported. N-ZnONCB were characterized using UV-visible Spectroscopy (UV-Vis), Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Fourier Transmittance Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman Spectroscopy, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Electron Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and EDX elemental mapping. N-ZnONCBs were tested for their photocatalytic capabilities in the degradation of methylene blue (MB) under UV-light and visible light irradiation for about 0 to 80 minutes and 0 to 50 min respectively. The N-ZnONCB catalyst demonstrated improved photodegradation efficiency (98.6% and 96.2%) and kinetic degradation rates of MB (k = −0.0579 min−1 and k = −0.0585 min−1) under UV light and visible light irradiation at different time intervals. The photodegradation study was also evaluated with different dosages of N-ZnONCB catalyst, different initial concentrations of MB and variation in the pH (3, 5, 9 and 11) of the solution of MB under UV light and visible light irradiation. The photocatalytic degradation intermediate products were obtained by liquid chromatography mass spectra (LC-MS) and also complete mineralization was determined by using Total Organic Carbon (TOC) studies. This photocatalyst was also tested with 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) under visible light irradiation at different time intervals. Fluorescence and quenching studies were performed for the binding interaction between the N-ZnONCB catalyst and MB dye. A Zetasizer was used to find the charge and average size of the N-ZnONCB catalyst and also the charge of the N-ZnONCB catalyst before and after MB dye solution adsorption. The N-ZnONCB catalyst was also tested for its photostability and reusability with a percentage degradation rate of MB (93.2%) after 4 cycle experiments. These results have clearly demonstrated that the N-ZnONCB catalyst can be applied for the photocatalytic degradation of MB from wastewater samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7509-7535
Number of pages27
JournalRSC Advances
Volume9
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering

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