Photocatalysis of estrone in water and wastewater: Comparison between Au-TiO<inf>2</inf> nanocomposite and TiO<inf>2</inf>, and degradation by-products

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Science of the Total Environment, 2018, 610-611 pp. 521 - 530
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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Gold-modified TiO2 (Au-TiO2) photocatalysts were utilised for the degradation of estrone (E1), a major endocrine disrupting chemical in water and wastewater. Au-TiO2 catalysts were synthesised by a deposition-precipitation method with gold loadings of 0–8% (wt%). The Au-TiO2 nanocomposite exhibited superior activity compared to P25 TiO2 under UVA (λ = 365 nm), cool white (λ > 420 nm) and green (λ = 523 nm) light emitting diodes (LEDs), for treating 1 mg l− 1 of E1. The 4 wt% Au loading was found to produce the best photocatalytic activity with a rate constant of 2.44 ± 0.36 h− 1, compared to 0.06 ± 0.01 h− 1 for P25 TiO2, under visible light. In total 4 by-products were identified, one from negative ionization mode (m/z = 269) and three from positive ionization mode (m/z = 287) during photocatalysis, which were also degraded with time by Au-TiO2. For different water matrices, the photodegradation rate of E1 decreased in the order: ultrapure water > synthetic wastewater ≈ wastewater effluent from membrane bio-reactor. Overall, 4 wt% Au-TiO2 demonstrated superior performance compared to P25 TiO2 in water and wastewater.
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