Highly porous monolithic aerogels based on ZnO photocatalyst and syndiotactic polystyrene (s-PS) were obtained by supercritical CO2 treatment of ZnO/s-PS gels. The prepared aerogels were characterized and their photocatalytic activity was evaluated using phenol and toluene as water pollutant models. The s-PS nanoporous crystalline phase, able to absorb pollutant molecules, was proven to be necessary to ensure high photocatalytic efficiency as the aerogel acts not only as a support, but also as pollutant pre-concentrator. The reusability of ZnO/s-PS aerogels is also strong showing no decrease in photocatalytic activity after six consecutive degradation trials. Finally, the aerogel matrix prevents ZnO dissolution occurring under acidic conditions and promotes a selective removal of the pollutants. The synergy between the photocatalyst and the innovative polymeric support provides the composite system with robustness, chemical stability, easy recovery after treatment, high efficiency of pollutant removal with a marked selectivity which make these materials promising for large scale applications.

Highly robust and selective system for water pollutants removal: How to transform a traditional photocatalyst into a highly robust and selective system for water pollutants removal

Sacco O.;Vaiano V.;Daniel C.;Navarra W.;Venditto V.
2019-01-01

Abstract

Highly porous monolithic aerogels based on ZnO photocatalyst and syndiotactic polystyrene (s-PS) were obtained by supercritical CO2 treatment of ZnO/s-PS gels. The prepared aerogels were characterized and their photocatalytic activity was evaluated using phenol and toluene as water pollutant models. The s-PS nanoporous crystalline phase, able to absorb pollutant molecules, was proven to be necessary to ensure high photocatalytic efficiency as the aerogel acts not only as a support, but also as pollutant pre-concentrator. The reusability of ZnO/s-PS aerogels is also strong showing no decrease in photocatalytic activity after six consecutive degradation trials. Finally, the aerogel matrix prevents ZnO dissolution occurring under acidic conditions and promotes a selective removal of the pollutants. The synergy between the photocatalyst and the innovative polymeric support provides the composite system with robustness, chemical stability, easy recovery after treatment, high efficiency of pollutant removal with a marked selectivity which make these materials promising for large scale applications.
2019
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4730252
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