Delaminated kaolinites as potential photocatalysts: Tracking degradation of Na-benzenesulfonate test compound adsorbed on the dry surface of kaolinite nanostructures

Péter Szabó, Balázs Zsirka, Dávid Fertig, Erzsébet Horváth, Tamás Csizmadia, J. Kristóf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Based on their bandgap values, kaolins can have semiconductive and photocatalytic properties enabling them to use as potential photocatalysts. Kaolinite nanostructures (Knano) and silver-coated kaolinite nanohybrids (Knano(Ag)) were made of ordered (Hinkley Index, HI = 1.4) and disordered (HI = 0.3) kaolins via intercalation/deintercalation. The book-type kaolin built up from tetrahedral(T)-octahedral(O) double layers has very low photocatalytic activity. At the same time the nanostructures made of individual TO layers show photochemical activity in spite of the fact that their bandgap values are comparable to those of the book-type ones. The presence of Ag on the surface significantly reduced the bandgap and shifted the excitation wavelength towards the visible range. This phenomenon supports the supposition that kaolinite has some semiconductive character. This work presents the connection between photocatalytic activity and morphology for the first time. The surface activity of kaolinite nanostructures and their Ag-hybrids was studied through the decomposition of sodium-benzenesulfonate (BS) test compound with attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR/ATR). BS decomposition can be detected on the Knano surface but with low efficiency. The presence of silver can significantly improve the mineralization efficiency. No correlation was found between the activity and the quantity of Ti and Fe contaminants and the amount of Ag on the surface. However, the activity could be correlated with the order-dependent morphology (mixture of semi-hexagonal and nanoscroll-type structures), the pore size and with the increase of the surface coverage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalCatalysis Today
Volume287
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Ag-nanohybrides
  • FT-IR spectroscopy
  • Kaolinite nanostructures
  • Mineralization
  • Photocatalysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)

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