Synthesis and Photocatalytic Performance of TiO2-CNT and Magnetized Fe3O4-TiO2-CNT Multifunctional Hybrids: A Pickering Emulsion Platform for Organic Degradation
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The oil and textile industries produce billions of gallons of wastewater containing toxic, and sometimes carcinogenic or mutagenic, chemicals that often disperse throughout wastewater as suspended oil droplets. Photocatalytic degradation is a promising method for organic degradation, but needs to be improved. Tuning the photoactivity of a photocatalyst, enhancing the reactor design, and ensuring a facile method to remove the photocatalysts from the purified wastewater will help photocatalysis become a realistic option for use in advanced water treatment plants. Thus, this study set out to engineer an efficient and reusable method to degrade dispersed organic chemicals, by combining the photocatalytic properties of titania (TiO2), the electronic and hydrophobic properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs), the magnetic abilities of iron oxide magnetite (Fe3O4), and the novel reactor design of Pickering emulsions. In this study, CNTs were hybridized with TiO2 and magnetized with Fe3O4 following a sol-gel method in order to form TiO2-CNTs and magnetic Fe3O4-TiO2-CNTs. The nanohybrids were used to stabilize Pickering emulsions, and preliminary dye degradation was demonstrated.