Green synthesis of α-Fe2O3/BiPO4 composite and its biopolymeric beads for enhanced photocatalytic application
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This study reports a green and facile hydrothermal method to synthesis α-Fe2O3/BiPO4 composite and was used for photocatalytic application under visible light irradiation. The synthesized samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), UV–Vis diffuse reflectance spectrum (UV–Vis DRS), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrum, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Brunauer–Emmet–Teller (BET) analysis and Photoluminescence (PL), which confirmed the formation of the composite. XRD analysis indicated that all the prepared samples present in pure hexagonal structure without Fe2O3 phases. The photocatalytic studies on methylene blue (MB) and ciprofloxacin (CIP) were evaluated under visible light irradiation and the α-Fe2O3/BiPO4 composite exhibited superior photocatalytic activity compared to the BiPO4. The results of PL studies substantiated that the enhancement of photocatalytic activity could be mainly attributed to the interaction of α-Fe2O3 and BiPO4 in the composite during photocatalysis which effectively improve electron–hole separation. The recyclability experiment corroborated the stability of α-Fe2O3/BiPO4 composite. Finally, the composite was converted into beads using calcium alginate, a non toxic biopolymer for easy separation of the catalyst from the reaction medium, which also showed equally good results.
This work was funded by Department of Science and Technology—Technology System Development (Project No. DST/TSG/NTS/2015/60-G) and the authors acknowledge the same. The first author acknowledges Anna University for the Anna Centenary Research Fellowship (ACRF).
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