Eu2+- and Nd3+-Doped CaAl2O4/WO3/polyester nanocomposite as a sunlight-activated photocatalyst for fast removal of dyes from industrial wastes

Abstract

In this work, a reusable, sunlight-activated and environmentally friendly photocatalyst for fast removal of dye pollutants from industrial wastes was developed based on the synergistic effect among phosphorescent CaAl2O4:Eu2+:Nd3+ nanoparticles, WO3 photocatalyst and polyester resin. The emitted light by the phosphorescent CaAl2O4:Eu2+: Nd3+ nanoparticles is absorbed by the WO3 photocatalyst, and hence, the population of the excited WO3 particles is increased and their photocatalytic activity is significantly enhanced. The role of the polyester resin is to keep the CaAl2O4:Eu2+:Nd3+ nanoparticles and WO3 particles in the vicinity of each other and stabilize them on the surface of the glass plate via formation the transparent and robust polymer layer. Stabilization of the particles overcomes the recovering problems of the dispersed photocatalyst particles used in the traditional batch and continues systems. Thus, the proposed strategy has the potential to be applied for removal of dye pollutants from industrial wastes in the large scale. The chemical structure and dispersion quality of the synthesized nanocomposite photocatalyst were studied using FT-IR spectroscopy, XRD analysis, FE-SEM imaging and EDX analysis. The affecting variables on the photocatalytic activity of the proposed system were optimized. The rate constant of the photocatalysis degradation of methylene blue was calculated to be 0.113 min−1. Under sunlight, the synthesized nanocomposite photocatalyst is able to completely remove methylene blue from industrial wastes in less than 30 min.

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Acknowledgements

The support of this work by a research (Grant No. 96007744) from the Iran National Science Foundation (INSF) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Kiomars Zargoosh.

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Zargoosh, K., Rostami, M. & Aliabadi, H.M. Eu2+- and Nd3+-Doped CaAl2O4/WO3/polyester nanocomposite as a sunlight-activated photocatalyst for fast removal of dyes from industrial wastes. J Mater Sci: Mater Electron 31, 11482–11495 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10854-020-03696-x

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