Agro and industrial residues: Potential raw materials for photocatalyst development

W. L. da Silva, J. W.J. Hamilton, P. K. Sharma, P. S.M. Dunlop, J. A. Byrne, J. H.Z. dos Santos

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    Contamination by organic effluents is currently one of the most serious environmental problems and, as a result, the elimination of these pollutants has been widely studied, mainly with organic phenolic pollutants. Photocatalysis have been showing an interesting process in order to optimize the conventional wastewater treatments. Thus, agroindustrial waste (exhausted bark acacia) and Ziegler–Natta catalyst slurry waste were used as supports for photocatalysts. The morphology and chemical composition of the catalysts were determined by scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) and the X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Band-gaps were determined using UV diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). Multiscale structural characterization, pore analysis and specific surface area were determined by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and N2 porosimetry 77 K. Zeta potential (ζ) measurements were carried out to verify the stability of catalyst suspensions. The photocatalysts contained Al, Mg, Si and Ti. Metallic content ranged from 0.01 to 0.83 wt%. Ti-samples showed specific surface area between from 27.3 562.30 m g-to 562.30 m² g−1, a band gap energy (2.55–3.65 eV), negative surface potential and the presence of mass and surface fractals. The prepared photocatalytic systems (catalyst with support) were evaluated for phenol photodegradation, where the greatest percentage of phenol degradation was 68.4% under UV-V % under UV–vis radiation, while industrial standard Degussa P25 showed 43.8 % degradation. Therefore, (agro)industrial waste can be used as precursors or catalytic supports of photocatalysts for application in the treatment of wastewater meeting sustainable development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number113184
    JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry
    Early online date6 Feb 2021
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Apr 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The authors thank CAPES (Project Visiting Graduate Student – 99999.009965/2014-09), CNPq ( 310408/2019-9 ) and FAPERGS (Project 19/2551-0001362-0 ).

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2021

    Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


    • Agroindustrial residue
    • Industrial residue
    • Phenol
    • Photocatalyst
    • TiO


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