Sepiolite-TiO2 nanocomposites for photocatalysis: Synthesis by microwave hydrothermal treatment versus calcination

Feng Zhou, Chunjie Yan, Hongquan Wang, Sen Zhou, Sridhar Komarneni

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Sepiolite-TiO2 nanocomposites were synthesized by conventional calcination process and microwave hydrothermal (M-H) treatment and were tested and compared for their photocatalytic activity. XRD analysis indicated that nanocomposites after calcination at 500 °C or M-H treatment for 40 min at about 200 °C appear to be the optimal conditions, which assured the amorphous TiO2 to crystalline anatase phase transition. The deposition of the TiO2 on the surface of sepiolite by M-H treatment yielded small dispersed nanoparticles at all treatment times used in this study. However, TiO2 particle size increased with increasing calcination temperature, which was confirmed by SEM and TEM. N2-adsorption-desorption isotherms indicated that calcination process reduced the specific surface areas of the nanocomposites while the M-H treatment led to a higher surface area with better photocatalytic performance for the degradation of Orange G. The intact structure of sepiolite and the homogeneous dispersion of the TiO2 nanocrystals on sepiolite surfaces led to enhanced photocatalytic activity in M-H treated samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-253
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Clay Science
StatePublished - Sep 15 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geology
  • Soil Science


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