Improved photocatalytic activity of Y-doped WO3 in reduction of Cu(II) in industrial effluent

  • M. M. Thwala
  • L. N. DlaminiEmail author
Original Paper


The synthesis of tungsten trioxide (WO3) and (1, 3 and 5% m/m) yttrium-doped tungsten trioxide (Y–WO3) was achieved using hydrothermal method. The structural and optical properties of the synthesized material were characterized using XRD, TEM, FESEM, BET, DRS, FTIR, PL and Raman. The monoclinic polymorphs were attained as confirmed by the XRD, FTIR and Raman analysis, whose rectangular shapes were observed through FESEM. The doping of the materials was visually observed via the HRTEM imagery; the d-spacing was altered (by an increase of 0.0069 nm) on doping with yttrium ions. Doping of the materials also resulted in lowered band gaps corresponding to shifted valence band and conduction band. The metal doping also influenced a positive shift of the point of zero charge to higher pH, recording the highest point of zero charge at 3.43 pH. The effect of doping on recombination of carrier charges was investigated using PL analysis. These observations were attributed by the influence of Y orbital on the band gap region of WO3 as supported by the DFT calculations. The photoactivity of the material was evaluated using the reduction of Cu(II) ion in wastewater (working pH 6.05), where a photoreduction of 98% was achieved in 60 min.


Density functional theory Effluent Photocatalytic reduction Tungsten trioxide Nanoparticles 

Supplementary material

13762_2019_2225_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 1488 kb)


  1. Abazari R, Sanati S (2013) Room temperature synthesis of tungsten (VI) tri-oxide nanoparticles with one-pot multi-component reaction in emulsion nanoreactors stabilized by aerosol-OT. Mater Lett 107:329–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abe R, Takami H, Murakami N, Ohtani B (2008a) Pristine simple oxides as visible light driven photocatalysts: highly efficient decomposition of organic compounds over platinum-loaded tungsten oxide. J Am Chem Soc 130:7780–7781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Abe R, Takami H, Murakami N, Ohtani B (2008b) Pristine simple oxides as visible light driven photocatalysts: highly efficient decomposition of organic compounds over platinum-loaded tungsten oxide. Communication 130:7780–7781Google Scholar
  4. Arai T, Horiguchi M, Yanagida M, Gunji T, Sugihara H, Sayama K (2008) Complete oxidation of acetaldehyde and toluene over a Pd/WO3 photocatalyst under fluorescent or visible-light irradiation. Chem Commun 48:5565–5567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ashish B, Neeti K, Himanshu K (2013) Copper toxicity: a comprehensive study. Res J Recent Sci 2:58–67Google Scholar
  6. Asim N, Syuhami M, Badiei M, Yarmo M (2014) WO3 Modification by Synthesis of Nanocomposites. Procedia—Soc Behav Sci 9:175–180Google Scholar
  7. Aslam M, Ismail I, Chandrasekaran S, Ameed A (2014) Morphology controlled bulk synthesis of disc-shaped WO3 powder and evaluation of its photocatalytic activity for the degradation of phenols. J Hazard Mater 276C:120–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Butler M (2008) Photoelectrolysis and physical properties of the semiconducting electrode WO2. J Appl Phys 48:1914–1920CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chakrapani V, Thangala J, Sunkara M (2009) WO3 and W2N nanowire arrays for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production. Int J Hydrog Energy 34:9050–9059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Colmenares JR, Luque R, Romero A (2009) Nanostructured photocatalysts and their applications in the photocatalytic transformation of lignocellulosic biomass: an overview. Mater (Basel) 2(4):2228–2258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Daniel MF, Desbat B, Lassegues JC, Gerand B, Figlarz M (1987) Infrared and Raman study of WO3 tungsten trioxides and WO3, xH2O tungsten trioxide tydrates. J Solid State Chem 67:235–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Enriquez F, Durrer J, Yun W, Gullapalli C (2010) Spectroscopic analysis of tungsten oxide thin films. J Mater Res 25:2401–2406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Etacheri V, Seery MK, Hinder SJ, Pillai SC (2011) Oxygen rich titania: a dopant free, high temperature stable, and visible-light active anatase photocatalyst. Adv Funct Mater 21:3744–3752CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hoffmann M, Martin S, Choi W, Bahnemann D (2009) Environmental applications of semiconductor photocatalysis. Chem Rev 95:69–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Katsumata H, Oda Y, Satoshi Kanecoa A, Suzuki T (2013) Photocatalytic activity of Ag/CuO/WO3 under visible-light irradiation. RSC Adv 3:5028–5035CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kim J, Lee C, Choi W (2010) Platinized WO3 as an environmental photocatalyst that generates OH radicals under visible light. Environ Sci Technol 44:6849–6854CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Li D, Wu G, Gao G, Shen J, Huang F (2011) Ultrafast coloring-bleaching performance of nanoporous WO3-SiO2 gasochromic films doped with Pd catalyst. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 3:4573–4579CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lin BX, Liu N, Yang K, Zhu L, Xu Y (2009) The effect of ionic strength and pH on the stability of tannic acid-facilitated carbon nanotube suspensions. Carbon N Y 47:2875–2882CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Liu Y, Ohko Y, Zhang R, Yang Y (2010) Zhang Z (2010) Degradation of malachite green on Pd/WO3 photocatalysts under simulated solar light. J Hazard Mater 184:386–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Luvano-Hiplito E, Martnez-De La Cruz A, Yu Q (2014) Precipitation synthesis of WO3 for NOx removal using PEG as template. Ceram Int Part A 40:12123–12128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Materials Studio simulation environment Release 2016, Accelrys Software Inc San Diego, CA 2016Google Scholar
  22. Perdew J (1997) Generalized gradient approximation made simple. Phys Rev Lett 78:1396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sadakane M et al (2008) Preparation of nanostructured crystalline tungsten(VI) oxide and enhanced photocatalytic activity for decomposition of organic compounds under visible light irradiation. Chem Commun 48:6553–6554Google Scholar
  24. Sanchez-Martı´nez D, la Cruz AM, Llar EL (2013) Synthesis of WO3 nanoparticles by citric acid-assisted precipitation and evaluation of their photocatalytic properties. Mater Res Bull 48:691–697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Segall M et al (2002) First-principles simulation: ideas, illustrations and the CASTEP code. J Phys Condens Matter 14:2717–2744CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sing KW (1982) Reporting physisorption data for gas/solid systems with special reference to the determination of surface area and porosity. Pure Appl Chem 54:2201–2218CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Susanti D et al (2012) Comparison of the morphology and structure of WO3 nanomaterials synthesized by a sol-gel method followed by calcination or hydrothermal treatment. Front Chem Sci Eng 6:371–380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Wei D et al (2007) A magnetism-assisted chemical vapor deposition method to produce branched or iron-encapsulated carbon nanotubes. J Am Chem Soc 29:7364–7368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Xie YP, Liu G, Yin L, Cheng HM (2012) Crystal facet-dependent photocatalytic oxidation and reduction reactivity of monoclinic WO3 for solar energy conversion. J Mater Chem 22:6746CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Yang H, Shi R, Zhang K (2005) Synthesis of WO3/TiO2 nanocomposites via sol-gel method. J. Alloys Compd 398:200–202CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Islamic Azad University (IAU) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied ChemistryUniversity of JohannesburgJohannesburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations