C-doped anatase TiO2: Adsorption kinetics and photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue and phenol, and correlations with DFT estimations

MATOS, J.; OCARES, J.; POON, P.; MONTAÑA, R.; GARCÍA, X.; CAMPOS, K.; HERNÁNDEZ, J.; TITIRICI, M.:
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 547 (2019) 14-29.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2019.03.074

Abstract

This work shows an easy and eco-friendly methodology to obtain almost pristine anatase phase of TiO2 by using furfural, a biomass-derived molecule, as a bio-template. The photocatalytic activity was studied following the degradation of methylene blue and phenol under artificial solar irradiation. Results were compared against those obtained on a commercial pristine anatase TiO2. The pseudo first-order, the second-order and the intraparticle diffusion kinetic models were verified. The textural and surface chemistry properties of the materials were correlated with the surface density of molecules adsorbed in equilibrium. The reaction-rate showed an almost perfect quadratic regression as a function of the surface density. Theoretical estimations of the density of states by DFT + U were performed showing that the total electron charge in the oxygen bonded to anatase TiO2 increased due to carbon doping in agreement with the prediction of appearance of atomic orbitals 2p from carbon atom in the hybrid material. C-doping is responsible of the red-shift from 3.14 to 2.94 eV observed for a Ti15O32C super-cell than pristine anatase Ti16O32. The increase in the activity of the C-doped TiO2 photocatalyst was due to the decrease in the energy band-gap promoting a higher absorption of photons from the visible light.

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