Adsorption and degradation of some psychiatric drugs by sol-gel synthesized titania-based photocatalysts: influence of tungsten and sodium content

  • Nina L. Finčur
  • Maja J. Šćepanović
  • Mirjana Grujić-BrojčinEmail author
  • Biljana F. Abramović
  • Jugoslav B. Krstić
  • Aleksandar Kremenović
  • Tatjana Srećković
  • Aleksandar Golubović
Original Paper: Sol-gel and hybrid materials for catalytic, photoelectrochemical and sensor applications


Mesoporous anatase nanopowders were doped with 0.05−0.5 mol% of W6+, in order to obtain more efficient photocatalyst than TiO2 Degussa P25 in the degradation of amitriptyline (AMI) under simulated solar irradiation (SSI). Dominant XRPD peaks were ascribed to anatase phase, with additional peaks which could correspond to brookite, TiO2 bronze and sodium titanate, Na2Ti9O19. The Raman scattering measurements have confirmed anatase as dominant phase, with broad Raman feature at ~270 cm−1 possibly related to Ti–O–Na stretching vibration. All W-doped nanopowders have shown enhanced adsorption and higher efficiency in photodegradation of AMI in comparison to TiO2 Degussa P25 under the same conditions. The catalyst doped with 0.4 mol% of W6+, which has shown the highest efficiency in degradation of AMI under SSI, has also been tested in degradation of alprazolam (ALP). The effect of substrate type (AMI and ALP), catalyst loading, and initial substrate concentration on photocatalytic degradation using SSI was examined. The identification of the species responsible for the photocatalytic degradation of AMI and ALP by the catalyst doped with 0.4 mol% of W6+ was performed in the presence of various scavengers under SSI. The major role in degradation of AMI may be attributed to hydroxyl radicals, whereas superoxide anion radicals, singlet molecular oxygen and hydroxyl radicals contribute to degradation of ALP.


  • Influence of W and Na content on the properties of TiO2 catalysts synthesized by sol-gel method.

  • Powders characterized by XRPD, SEM, EDS, BET, Raman, and UV-vis spectroscopy.

  • Adsorption and photodegradation of amitriptyline and alprazolam under simulated solar irradiation.

  • Optimal synthesis and W-doping conditions for photocatalytic degradation of amitriptyline found.

  • Various scavengers used to identify mechanisms of photodegradation of amitriptyline and alprazolam.


Sol-gel synthesis Doped titania nanopowders XRPD Raman spectroscopy Adsorption and photocatalytic degradation Psychiatric drugs 



This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (Republic of Serbia), under the Projects No. III45018, ON172042, and III45015, as well as SASA project F–134. Besides, authors thank MSc Maria Uzelac and MSc Marta Kolesar for the technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10971_2019_4925_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (643 kb)
Supplementary Materials


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina L. Finčur
    • 1
  • Maja J. Šćepanović
    • 2
  • Mirjana Grujić-Brojčin
    • 2
    Email author
  • Biljana F. Abramović
    • 1
  • Jugoslav B. Krstić
    • 3
  • Aleksandar Kremenović
    • 4
  • Tatjana Srećković
    • 5
  • Aleksandar Golubović
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Sciences, Department of ChemistryBiochemistry and Environmental ProtectionNovi SadSerbia
  2. 2.Center for Solid State Physics and New Materials, Institute of PhysicsUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy, Department of Catalysis and Chemical EngineeringUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  4. 4.Laboratory of Crystallography, Faculty of Mining and GeologyUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  5. 5.Institute for Multidisciplinary ResearchUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia

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