MCM-41 templating of semiconductors onto microwave-induced KOH-modified biomass-activated carbon for photo-mineralization of tetracycline: response surface methodology
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The quest for the availability of potable water in the sub-Sahara Africa is the trigger and impetus for this research work. Hence, this research work highlights the application of a semiconductor photocatalyst (MCM-41 silica templating of Al2O3/ZnO/SnO2/TiO2 onto microwave-induced KOH-modified Pinus sylvestris cellulosic biomass-activated carbon) for photo-mineralization of tetracycline (TC) by the response surface methodology/central composite design approach/technique. This semiconductor photocatalyst’s surface microstructures were studied using Fourier transform-attenuated total reflectance, thermogravimetric analysis and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller/Barrett–Joyner–Halenda nitrogen sorptiometry–desorptiometry at cryogenic temperature (77 K). The results obtained from this microstructural analysis showed that the semiconductor photocatalyst was a thermally stable and multi-functional material that photo-degraded 99.25% of 20 mg/L of TC, with a half-life of 3.52 min and 9.93 mg of TC photo-degraded per g of semiconductor photocatalyst. This also showed that this semiconductor photocatalyst was efficient and, thus, a suitable and promising photocatalytic candidate for the degradation of other antibiotics other than TC in future perspective.
KeywordsCellulosic biomass Central composite design Micro-induced Photocatalysis Photocatalyst Pinus sylvestris Semiconductors
Dr. Martins O. Omorogie (Postdoctoral Research Fellow: VUT/Staff/2015709) sincerely appreciates the research fund magnanimously provided by Vaal University of Technology (VUT), Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng Province, South Africa that was used to carry out this research.
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