Iron(III)-doped titanium dioxide photocatalysts were prepared from aqueous titanium(III) chloride solution in the presence of dissolved FeCl3 (0-10.0 at.% relative to TiCl3) by co-precipitation method. The precipitate was completely oxidized in the aerated suspension, hydrothermally treated, washed and calcinated. The structure of the powders was characterized by thermoanalysis (TG-DTA), diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The light absorption of the iron-containing powders is red shifted relative to the bare sample. The particle size and anatase content were found to significantly decrease at iron contents ≥6.0 at.% which is accompanied with the increase of their specific surface area. XANES measurements showed that the local structure of iron systematically changes with the variation of the dopant concentrations: at higher Fe-contents, hematite- or goethite-like environments were observed, consistent with the formation of separate X-ray amorphous Fe(III)-containing phases. The local structure of iron gradually transformed with decreasing dopant concentrations, possibly due to substitution of Fe(III) in the titania (TiO2) crystal lattice. Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) and chemical analysis was used to characterize the iron content of the samples in the bulk and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) in the surface layer of the particles. The photocatalytic performance of the prepared photocatalysts was compared with the activity of Aldrich anatase under UV-vis and VIS irradiation in two different photoreactors. Maximum photocatalytic performance was found at 3.0 at.% iron concentration for UV-vis and at 1.2 at.% for VIS irradiation. Doping with iron(III) ions increased the photodegradation rate of phenol by a factor of three for UV-vis irradiation and by a factor of two for VIS irradiation, relative to the bare photocatalyst.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Process Chemistry and Technology