Immobilization of AgZnO photocatalyst in Poly(acrylic acid) matrix and their photocatalytic activity evaluation

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The Ag modified Zinc oxide (AgZnO) is a catalyst with increased photocatalytic activity used for degradation of dyes and several organic molecules, in aqueous solution, in contrast to pure ZnO. Nevertheless, its application at pilot scale systems is back drawn because difficulties on photocatalyst recovery, its fixation and UV/visible light efficiency. Some efforts to immobilize common photocatalysts (i.e. TiO2), in polymeric matrices, include polyaniline, polystyrene, polypyrrole and methacrylates. In order to develop polymeric composite with photocatalytic applications, it must be hydrophilic, transparent, photostable and mechanically resistant to be used under UV/visible light irradiation, even in batch or continuous reactors. Thus we choose poly(acrylates) as the best choice for the immobilization of AgZnO, a photocatalyst already tested4. We report the synthesis of photo and thermal stable AgZnO/poly(acrylic acid) composites with homogeneously dispersed and chemically anchored AgZnO photocatalyst (5-13% wt content) in Poly(acrylic acid) due to surface modification with epoxide functional groups. The photocatalytic sites in the composites remain actives for Bisphenol-A degradation, as we hypothesized. Furthermore, poly(acrylic acid) matrix prevented AgZnO photocorrosion allowing the reuse of the composite. This study shows the potential of heterogeneous photocatalyst based on AgZnO/Poly(acrylic acid) composites for degradation of emergent organic contaminants in water.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: Technical Proceedings of the 2014 Clean Technology Conference and Trade Show
Published: June 15, 2014
Pages: 436 - 439
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Energy & Sustainability
Topic: Sustainable Materials
ISBN: 978-1-4822-5819-6